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Full text of "Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan and the struggle with the Musalman powers of the South"

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tmibar HU anb ftipu Sultan 








THE following sketch of the Musalman usurpation 
in Mysore is an attempt to present in a popular form 
the career of one of the most remarkable personages 
who have played their parts on the stage of Indian 
history, together with that of his equally remarkable 
son the first distinguished by the energy, enterprise, 
and daring which enabled him to seize a throne, and 
the second by his bigotry, his hostility to the English, 
and the fatuous obstinacy which cost him his crown 
and his life. 

The materials for such a memoir, although often 
contradictory, according to the source whence they 
are derived, are sufficiently copious for the greater 
part of the narrative. The conflicting views of Eng- 
lish, French, and native authorities regarding Haidar 
Ali and his son make it difficult to form an absolutely 
correct estimate of their career, while the limited 
space at his disposal precludes the writer from doing 
full justice to the course of events referred to in the 
narrative. It was a period, however, of vital import- 
ance to the future supremacy of the British in India. 


and an attempt has therefore been made to represent 
as accurately as possible the vicissitudes of the Mysore 
kingdom during the thirty-eight years of the usurpa- 
tion by Haidar All and Tipii Sultan. The sketch is 
confined to this period, that is, from the time when 
Haidar All first brought himself prominently to notice, 
down to the memorable siege of Seringapatam, which 
ended for ever his short-lived dynasty. Although 
incidentally alluded to, the momentous struggle be- 
tween the English and the French for supremacy in 
Southern India does not come within the scope of the 
memoir, while it has been fully dealt with in the 
previous volume of this Series on ' Dupleix.' 

The writer would impress upon the reader that, 
although the narrative is mainly taken up with a 
long course of strife and conquests, consequent upon 
the disintegration of the Mughal empire, it would be 
unjust to impute to the people of Mysore an innate 
love for war, or a sanguinary disposition. On the 
contrary, they are an amiable race, with kindly 
instincts, admirable as cultivators, and possessing an 
ancient and valuable literature, which raised them 
high in the scale of civilization long before the 
advent of Islam. Of the professors of that faith he 
may also add that nowhere can be found a better type 
of true refinement and courtesy than the dignified and 
hospitable Musalman gentleman. 

L. B. B. 
TORQUAY, 1893. 












TIME 40-41 




THE ENGLISH: WAR FROM 1767 TO 1769 . 49-58 


TIME 59- 6 3 



















EUROPE 135-138 




THE NIZAM 159-161 




WITH TlPU l8o-l88 





INDEX 229-233 


The orthography of proper names follows the system adopted by 
the Indian Government for the Imperial Gazetteer of India. That 
system, while adhering to the popular spelling of very well-known 
places, such as Punjab, Poona, Deccan, Mysore, Bangalore, &c., 
employs in all other cases the vowels with the following uniform 
sounds : 

a, as in woman : a, as in father : i, as in kin : i, as in intrigue : 
o, as in cold : u, as in bwll : u, as in rwral. 


Imam Baksh ; t son. 



2 i * 

unuiam AJI ; 3 sous, i 

a g C.a S 

1 *s *3 


3 ^ ta 


, s'fj i^ 

Ahmad Sultan, d. 1239 H ; 

IS *" 03 < ^.-g 

3 daughters. 

S 13 *^ s ^ 

J| 1| 32 

Muhammad Sultan, or 

S fl> S $ 

Ghulam Muhammad, 

--* * 5 ^ 

d. 1877 A.D. ; 3 sons, 3 

O -2 <^ "^ cj <C 



|| I jf | 


Munfr-ud-din Sultan, d. 
I2 53 " ; i son, 2 daugh- 

Si !S s 



31 H Jl 



Jama-ud-din Sultan, d. 

^ 45 


1258 H ; i son. 

1 A gj 


SS 2^ v ^op 
^ 5^ r3 f 




*3 T^ 

Sarwar-ud-din Sultan, d. 



(3 ^~ 


1249 H ; 2 daughters. 



*rt *.H "^ 



a 1" 




Shukar Ullah Sultan, 

d. 1233 H; 6 sons, 4 


_ 60 

P a 


S s 

Muhammad Subhan Sul- 


-S s>> 

tan, d. 1261 H ; 5 sons, 


6 daughters. 




Muhammad Yasin Sul- 




tan, d. 1849 A.D. ; 8 
sons, 6 daughters. 



Moiz-ud-din Sultan, d. 





J3 * 

1233 H ; i son, 3 daugh- 





J"a M 

_Mohf-ud-din, or Sultan 

" 5 

Padshah, d. 1226 H ; 5 

S 02 b^ 

sons, 2 daughters. 


_Abd-ul-Khalik Sultan, d. 

s a 

1222 H ; 1 SOUS. 

| 1 

S * ITi" Sultan*' cL I^H"; 

7 sons, 14 daughters. 

s w 




THE terrible uprising in India in 1857, commonly 
called the Mutiny, has to some extent obliterated the 
recollection of previous events in that country; but 
two generations ago most people had heard of the 
siege of Seringapatam, while readers of the Waverley 
Novels were familiar with the slight story called ' The 
Surgeon's Daughter.' In both cases the scene lay in 
that part of India now known as Mysore (Maisur), which 
was the cradle of one of the most daring and successful 
adventurers recorded in the annals of the East, and 
perhaps the most formidable adversary whom the 
British ever encountered in that region. The name of 
this leader of men was Haidar All, and although the 
kingdom founded by him lasted only during his own 
time and that of his son, Tipii Sultan a brief space 
of some thirty-eight years this short period was 


fruitful of events which tended to consolidate British 
power in India as the paramount authority. 

In Hindustan, as elsewhere, when any man of 
vigour and energy has raised himself to a throne, it 
is not difficult to find for him a pedigree showing his 
noble descent, and it is not therefore surprising that 
native annalists should endeavour to prove that Haidar 
came from the famous race of the Kore'sh. According 
to their accounts, one of his ancestors named Hasan, 
who claimed Yahya as his progenitor, left Baghdad, 
and came to Ajmere in India, where he had a son 
called Wall Muhammad. This person, having 
quarrelled with an uncle, made his way to Gulbarga 
in the Deccan, and had a son named Ali Muhammad, 
who eventually migrated to Kolar in the eastern part 
of Mysore, where he died about the year 1678, having 
had four sons, the youngest of whom was named 
Fatah Muhammad l . Fatah Muhammad was not long 
in finding military employment, and by his prowess 

1 Wilks, in his history of Southern India, gives a somewhat 
different version of Haidar's ancestry. According to his authorities, 
Haidar's great-grandfather Muhammad Bhail61 was a Musalman 
devotee, who left the Punjab to seek his fortune in Southern India, 
accompanied by his sons Ali Muhammad and Wali Muhammad. 
He settled at Aland in the Haidarabad territory, whence the sons 
proceeded to Sira in Mysore, where they found service under the 
Siibahdar or Governor of that place, but subsequently migrated to 
Kohir. Here Ali Muhammad died, and his son Fatah Muhammad, 
with his mother, was ejected by Wali Muhammad from the family 
home. The discrepancy between this account and that given in 
the text is not however very material. Bhailol is an Afghan name, 
and was that of the founder of the Lodi dynasty which was uprooted 
by the celebrated Mughal Babar in 1526. 


at the siege of Ganjikota won applause, and prefer- 
ment at the hands of the Subahdar of Sira, heing raised 
to the rank of Nayak ; but on a change of Subahdars, 
he tried to better his fortunes, first at Arcot, and 
then at Chittur. Eventually he returned to Mysore, 
was made a Fdujdar, or military commander, and 
received Biidikota as a jagir or appanage. He married 
first a Sayyadani, by whom he had three sons, and 
subsequently two sisters (permissible by the law of 
Islam), whose father was a Navayat of the race of 
Hashim. By the younger of these ladies he had two 
sons, Shahbaz or Ismail and Haidar l (the Lion), the 
latter of whom eventually usurped the sovereignty of 

It would occupy too much space to relate the former 
history of the territory now called Mysore 2 , but it 
may be stated that at no time prior to Haidar Ali 
had the whole of it been governed by one ruler, or 
been known by this name. The ancient Hindu 
dynasties of Kadambas, Ganges, Chalukyas, and 
others, which ruled parts of it from the fifth to the 
twelfth centuries, had passed away, leaving no annals 
save those recorded on their stone-grants 3 . To them 

1 There is some uncertainty as to the year of his birth, some 
authorities giving 1722, and others 1717. 

2 For an account of the Mysore province, the reader is referred to 
The Imperial Gazetteer of India. 

3 Sila Shashanas are grants on stone, generally found in the 
courtyards of temples, and having incised on them the descent of 
the donor, his feats of arms, and the nature of the benefaction, 
which almost always consisted of land. Tamr, or copper Sh&sanas, 
were engraved on copper-plates, through which was passed a ring, 


succeeded Jain rulers, whose memory is sustained by 
the beautifully carved temples at Halebid and Belur, 
while the ruins at Hampi attest the glory of the 
sovereigns of Vijayanagar. 

In the beginning of the eighteenth century the 
country was occupied by petty chiefs called Palegars 
or Nayaks, who ruled various portions of it. Those 
of Bedniir and Chitaldrug were the most important, 
but many of the smaller states were in course of time 
conquered and annexed by the Wodiars of Mysore 
proper, whose possessions on the death of Chikka 
Devaraj in 1 704 comprised about half of the present 
Mysore kingdom. The history of these latter rulers, 
who claim a Kshatriya descent, has a certain amount 
of romantic interest attached to it, the first of the 
race who entered Mysore having been a Paladin 
named Vijayaraj, who at the close of the fourteenth 
century, with his brother Krishnaraj, left Dwarka 
in Kathiawar, and proceeded to the Karnatik country. 
On arriving at Hadinad near Mysore, they ascertained 
that the daughter of the local Wodiar or prince, a 
man of insane mind, was about to be forcibly married 
to a neighbouring chief who, in case of refusal, 
threatened to seize her father's possessions. The 
brothers by stratagem slew the obnoxious suitor and 
annexed his territory, while Vijayaraj himself wedded 
the distressed damsel, adopting at the same time 

stamped with the seal of the donor, each dynasty having its own 
emblem, in one case an elephant, in others a boar, or a hanuman 


the tenets of the Lingayat faith J . Such was the 
commencement of the rule of the present Mysore 
sovereigns, who, though of noble descent, were, unlike 
most of their predecessors in the Karnatik, of foreign 

For a period of two hundred years they held 
the status of petty chieftains only, but in 1609 Raj 
Wodiar, seventh in descent from Vijayaraj, taking 
advantage of the weakness of the decaying Vijayanagar 
kingdom, to which Mysore was nominally subject, 
seized the fortress of Srirangapatan (Seringapatam), 
and made it the seat of his government. Shortly 
afterwards he renounced the Lingayat faith, reverting 
to the worship of Vishnu, as practised by his ances- 
tors. From this time he and his successors gradually 
extended their territory by conquest till, on the death 
of Chikka Devaraj, their possessions yielded a con- 
siderable revenue. In order to conciliate the Emperor 
Aurangzeb, who was said to contemplate the invasion 
of the Mysore country, Chikka Devaraj despatched 
an embassy in 1699 which was favourably received by 
the Great Mughal, who bestowed upon the Raja, as he 
was now styled, the title of Jaga Deva, and an ivory 
throne, which was afterwards used on the installation 
of his successors. Chikka Devaraj was a brave soldier 
and an excellent administrator, but those who 
followed him being incompetent rulers, all power, 
as in the case of the descendants of the famous Sivaji, 

1 The Lingayats are worshippers of Siva, and wear the phallus in 
a small silver box, which is suspended by a string from the neck. 


fell virtually into the hands of the minister, the Rajas 
being mere puppets, who were put on the throne or 
deposed at the caprice of the leading men of the State. 
The direct descent ended in 1733 with the demise of 
Dodda Krishnaraj (or Krishnaraj the Elder), after 
which time new chiefs were elected at the pleasure of 
the Dalwai, or Commander-in-Chief, who usurped all 
the functions of government. 


Vijayaraj, 1399. 

Raj Wodiar, 1577-1616. 

Chikka Devaraj, or Devaraj the younger, 1671-1704/5. 

Kanthi Ri, 1704/5-16. The dumb Raja. 

Dodda Krishnaraj, or Krishnaraj the elder, 1716-33 *. 

Ch&mraj, adopted, 1733-36, died in prison. 

Chikka Krishnaraj, or Krishnaraj the younger, adopted, 1736-66. 


! I I 

Nanjraj, 1766-71, Chamraj, 1771-76. Chamraj of Kanihalli, 
strangled. 1776-96, adopted, 

chosen by Haidar AH. 


Mummadi Krishnaraj. 

or Krishnaraj 

the Third, 


1 The dates given for the accession of this chief and his successor 
vary slightly from the generally-received record, but as the report 
from which they are taken gives the name of the Hindu cycle year, 
they are presumably correct. 



DURING the reign of the Emperor Shahjahan, when 
his son Aurangzeb was Viceroy of the Deccan, a great 
part of the Karnatik was overrun by the troops of 
the King of Bijapur under the command of Ran 
Dulha Khan and Shahji, father of the great Sivaji. 
But when Aurangzeb mounted the throne, he deter- 
mined to crush both the Marathas and the Musal- 
man sovereign of Bijapur, which capital was taken 
in 1687, when Sira became the headquarters of an 
imperial deputy. This post, at the time when Fatah 
Muhammad, Haidar's father, distinguished himself, 
as previously mentioned, was held by Dargah Kuli 
Khan, who was nominated to it in 1729. He was 
succeeded by his son Abd-ur-Rasul Khan, in whose 
service Fatah Muhammad was killed, with his chief, 
while fighting against Saadat Ullah Khan, the Nawab 
of Arcot. His children, with their mother, were 
tortured and plundered by the son of the late Subahdar, 
and sent adrift to seek a refuge elsewhere. 



They proceeded to Bangalore. When the elder son 
Shihbaz was old enough, he obtained a small post as 
a subordinate officer, but soon rose to the command 
of 2co horse and 1,000 foot, forming part of a force 
which was despatched in 1749 by the Mysore Dalwai 
to besiege Devanhalli 1 , twenty-three miles north of 
Bangalore. He was here joined by his brother Haidar, 
who, though serving only as a volunteer, attracted 
attention by his gallantry and daring. He is described 
as being at this time of irregular habits, and addicted 
to low pursuits, but he was a keen sportsman and 
full of dash and energy. He was wholly illiterate, 
and indeed never learned to write. This, however, 
was common enough in those days, when most chiefs 
were content with affixing to papers either their seal 
or some fanciful device in lieu of a signature 2 . 

The Mysore minister at that time was Nanjraj, who, 
pleased with Haidar's courage, gave him the command 
of a small body of troops, and shortly afterwards, when 
a force was despatched to Arcot, in accordance with 
instructions from the Nizam Nasir Jang, Haidar and 
his brother accompanied the army. 

It may be appropriate to our narrative to give here 
some account of the principal chiefs with whose history 

1 Halli in Kannadi or Kanarese has the same meaning as Palli 
in Tamil, signifying a town or village, as in the word Trichinapalli, 
commonly called Trichinopoli. The word ; ur,' so often found in 
the names of places in Southern India, has the same signification. 

2 Many of the minor chiefs in Orissa still make use of this form 
of attestation, one drawing a peacock, another a tiger's head, a third 
a conch-shell, a fourth a flower as his sign-manual, and so forth. 


the fortune of Haidar and his son was closely inter- 
woven. On the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, the 
supremacy of the Great Mughals virtually terminated, 
as, owing to the incompetence of his successors, enemies 
rose up on every side, while the Imperial deputies in 
Southern India either made themselves independent, 
or succumbed to the superior force of Marathas and 
Pathans. Foremost among those who set aside the 
royal authority was the Nizam, who claimed descent 
from Abu Bakr, while among his remote ancestors 
were Muhammad Baha-ud-din Baghdadi, who founded 
the order of the Nakshbandi Darveshes, and Shekh 
Shahab-ud-din Sohrwadi, a celebrated Sufi or mystic. 
The family settled, it is stated, at Samana *, now in the 
State of Patiala in the Punjab, and one of its members, 
Abid Khan, was killed at Golconda while fighting in 
the ranks of the Imperial army. His son, Ghazf or 
Shahab-ud-din, was appointed governor of Gujarat, 
and the latter's son, Kamar-ud-din, Chain Kalij Khan, 
was in 1713 nominated Nizam-ul-mulk, or Viceroy 
of the Deccan, with a nominal control over all the 
royal possessions in Southern India. The pedigree on 
the next page shows the descent. 

1 The only authority for this is a statement made to the writer 
when encamped at the place. 

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The chief next in importance was the Nawab of 
Ark&t (Arcot). After Aurangzeb had subjugated the 
Bijapur and Golconda kingdoms, he sent a force 
under Zulfikar Khan, with one Daiid Khan as second 
in command, to reduce the fortress of Jinji or Chenji 1 , 
then held by Rama, son of Sivaji. The place was 
carried by assault in 1698, but as it proved unhealthy, 
Arcot was in 1716 selected as the capital. The 
imperial deputy, Kasim Khan, having been assas- 
sinated, Zulfikar Khan was nominated as his successor, 
and after him Daiid Khan ; but this chief, being sum- 
moned to Delhi to aid the party which ultimately 
put Shah Alam on the throne, left Muhammad Said, 
called Saadat Ullah Khan, as his substitute. Saadat 
Ullah Khan ruled with success from 1710 to 1732, 
but, having no son, left the masnad to his nephew 
Dost Ali Khan, who invaded Mysore, but was dis- 
gracefully defeated by the troops of Raja Chikka 
Krishnaraj. It was during the rule of this Nawab 
that his son-in-law, Hussdn Dost Khan, better known 
as Chanda Sahib, acquired by fraud the territory 
of Trichinopoli, and subsequently sided with the 

1 This remarkable fortress is in South Arcot, and is built on three 
hills, from 500 to 600 feet high, connected together by strong walls 
of circumvallation. The Rajagiri, or principal hill, is inaccessible on 
all sides, save the south-west, where a steep ravine permits access 
to the top ; but even here three lines of walls protected the citadel 
from an assault, the only approach to the summit being by a bridge 
thrown over a chasm, opposite to which was a gateway, with flank- 
ing defences. The place was first fortified by the Vijayanagar kings 
in the fourteenth century, and after falling into many hands, was 
captured by the French in 1750 in a brilliant manner. 


French against the English. Safdar All succeeded as 
Nawab, but was assassinated in 1742. His infant son 
Muhammad Said was installed by the Nizam, but was 
murdered within a year, when Anwar-ud-din, his 
guardian, was confirmed as Nawab by the Nizam. 
The succession of the several Nawabs of Arcot is as 
follows : 

Muhammad Said, or Saadat Ullah Khan, 1710-32. 
Dost Ali Khdn, his nephew, 1732-40. 

_ _ 

Safdar Ali Khan, 1740-42, daughter, married 

assassinated. Hussen Dost Khan, or 

| Chanda Sahib. 
Muhammad Said Khan, 1742-43. 

Anwar-ud-din, 1743-49. 

_ I 

Mahfuz Khan. Walajah Muhammad Ali, 1749-95. 

Umdat-ul-Umra, 1795-1801. 

There were three other prominent Musalman chiefs, 
namely the Pathan Nawabs of Kadapa, Karnul, and 
Shamir or Savanur 1 , while Morari Kao Ghorpara 2 , 
a Maratha, ruled at Gutti ; all of these being, nominally 
at least, subordinate to the Nizam. These somewhat 
dry details are necessary to elucidate the course of 
subsequent events. 

1 The first two of these Houses are extinct, but the Savanur 
Nawab still holds an estate in the Dharwar district of the Bombay 
Presidency, comprising twenty-five villages with a rental of 5,660. 

* This chiefs descendant is the Eaja of Sandur in the Bellary 
district of Madras, his territory having an area of 140 square miles, 
with an income of 4,500. The sanitarium of Ramandrug is in 


The occasion which, in 1749, led to the despatch of 
the troops from Mysore, with whomHaidar was serving, 
was a contest for the Nizamat between Nasir Jang 
and his nephew Muzaffar Jang, the latter of whom 
had been nominated as his successor by Kamar-ud-din. 
who died in 1748 ; but Nasir Jang, being on the spot, 
seized the throne, calling to his aid the chiefs just 
mentioned, as well as the Kaja of Mysore, who was 
tributary to the Nizam. Muhammad All of Arcot 
joined his standard, as also a contingent of British 
troops under Major Lawrence. On the other side 
were marshalled the forces of Muzaffar Jang, aided 
by Chanda Sahib, and a body of French troops under 
Colonel De Bussy. It is foreign to the purpose of 
this memoir to relate the long struggle for supremacy 
between the two European powers which took place 
at this period, and the reader is referred to Colonel 
Malleson's excellent work on The History of the 
French in India, in which ample details will be 
found on the subject. It may suffice to say that had 
the masterly diplomacy and genius of the great 
Dupleix been adequately supported by the French 
Government, the nation which he represented might 
probably have dominated the whole of Southern 
India. But the magnificent scheme which he origin- 
ated for founding an Eastern empire, and in which 
he was ably seconded by De Bussy, was frus- 
trated by the jealousy of his compatriots and the 
indifference of his Government. Dupleix himself, 
having been recalled to France in 1 754, died there in 


abject poverty and broken-hearted a few years after- 

Probably neither the English nor the French 
authorities cared much about the alleged rights of 
either of the claimants of the Nizamat, but were bent 
only on supporting the one who would be likely 
to advance their own interests. In any case, the 
contested sovereignty was an authority usurped from 
the Great Mughal, while the Arcot Nawab was really 
only a deputy, removable at pleasure by the Nizam. 
Dupleix favoured Chanda Sahib. This chief was 
under obligations to him for hospitality shown to 
his family at Pondicherry and for his release from 
imprisonment by the Mardthas, but Dupleix' support 
of Chanda Sdhib and his advocacy of the pretensions 
of Muzaffar Jang were prompted only by his astute 
policy, which sought any available counterpoise to 
British influence. On the other hand, the English 
at Madras allied themselves with Nasir Jang and 
his representative Muhammad Ali (whose father 
Anwar-ud-din had been killed at Ambtir fighting 
against the French), for precisely similar reasons, 
that is, to foil Dupleix in his designs. 

In the first encounter which ensued between the 
opposing forces, Nasir Jang was victorious (partly 
owing to a mutiny among the French troops), Muzaffar 
Jang being taken prisoner, while Chanda Sahib fled 
to Pondicherry. Nsir Jang then retired to Arcot l , 

1 The citadel in Arcot, which was so brilliantly defended by Clive 
in 1751, was in a rectangular fortress surrounded by a shallow 


but Dupleix having shortly afterwards seized, through 
De Bussy's daring, the strong fortress of Jinji, and 
won over to his side the Pathan Nawabs, Nasir Jang 
was compelled again to take the field. In the short 
campaign which followed Nasir was treacherously 
killed by the Kadapa Nawab, while Muzaffar Jang was 
installed as Nizam by the French, and Muhammad 
Ali fled precipitately to Trichinopoli. The Mysore 
troops on this occasion bore themselves bravely. 
Haidar, with the mercenary instinct of a freebooter, 
took advantage of the confusion to seize, with the aid 
of his Bedar followers, a large amount of the late 
Nizam's treasure, with which he retreated to Mysore. 
Before doing so, he paid a visit to Pondicherry \ 
where he formed a high opinion of the discipline of 
the French troops and of the skill of their engineer 

In 1751 we find Haidar again on active service, 
accompanying, as commandant of the cavalry, a 
Mysore force which was despatched by the Dalwai to 
co-operate with Muhammad Ali, who promised to 
cede to Mysore Trichinopoli and all the country south 
of it to the ghdts on the eastward. It is not proposed 
to discuss the incidents of the long war which now 

ditch, but is now in ruins ; as is also the greater part of the ' Shahar 
Panah,' a rampart five miles in circumference, 24 feet broad at the 
base, and 12 feet at the top. 

1 Pondicherry, called by the natives Puduche"ri, was founded by 
F. Martin in 1674. It comprises three divisions, viz. Pondicherry, 
Villianur, and Bahur, containing 93 villages with 141 hamlets, and 
has an area of 112 square miles. 


took place, and was not terminated till the end of 
1754, when a treaty, much to the disadvantage of the 
French, was concluded. The Mysore commander, 
Nanjraj, played a double part, intriguing both with 
the English and the French, but eventually siding 
with the latter. Foiled in his attempts to obtain 
possession of Trichinopoli, owing to the treachery of 
Muhammad Ali, he was at last compelled to return to 
Mysore in 1755, having spent large sums of money 

During the course of the military operations in this 
campaign Haidar seized several guns belonging to an 
English convoy which was cut off in the Pudukottai 
territory between Tanjore and Trichinopoli, and 
largely increased his force of Bedars. His nominal 
command now aggregated 1,500 horse and 3,000 
infantry, besides less disciplined troops. To assist 
him in organizing the system of plundering, which he 
carried on for many years, he took into his service 
a Maratha Brahman, named Khande Rao, whose 
literary qualifications made amends for his own want 
of education. But although compelled to have recourse 
to this extraneous aid, Haidar had a most retentive 
memory, which, added to his acute penetration, made 
it very difficult to deceive him. 

In the same year that witnessed the withdrawal of 
the Mysore troops from their abortive expedition, that 
is in 1 755, Haidar was appointed Faujdar or military 
governor of Dindigal, now in the Madura district of 
Madras, a stronghold which the Mysore State had 


acquired ten years previously. Here he established 
an arsenal under the superintendence of French 
artificers whose services he obtained from Pondicherry. 
He also augmented the numbers of his troops, and 
accumulated considerable wealth by plundering the 
chiefs in the neighbourhood. The position which 
Haidar thus attained was the foundation of his future 
influence, although it was not till the acquisition of 
Bednur, as will be hereafter related, that he actually 
usurped the supreme control. 


WHILE the Mysore army under Nanjraj was still 
engaged in the hostilities above narrated, the new 
Nizam, Salabat Jang 1 , accompanied by M. de Bussy, 
whose exploits in the Deccan had made him famous, 
marched on Seringapatam, and demanded a large sum 
as arrears of tribute, only a third of which, or 
eighteen lacs, could be raised on the spot. Even this 
sum was collected with great difficulty, the minister 
Devaraj resorting to every expedient to avoid pay- 
ment. But, alarmed on hearing that the Marathas 
were preparing also to invade Mysore, he resorted to 
forcible measures, such as plundering the temples and 
handing over the Crown jewels, to satisfy the Nizam's 
demands. The rumour that the Marathas were 
approaching proved to be true. In March, 1757, the 
Peshwa 2 Balaji Baji Rao suddenly appeared before 
the capital, exacting the payment of a heavy contri- 

1 His nephew Muzaffar Jang was deposed in 1751 by a conspiracy, 
headed by the Nawabs of Karnul and Savanur, when Salabat Jang 
was, owing to the influence of M. de Bussy, put on the throne. 

a The Peshwas still professed to be merely the ministers of the 
Satara Rajas, having on their seals a fictitious device testifying to 


bution, of which five lacs of rupees were paid in cash, 
while certain districts were surrendered in pledge for 
an additional sum of twenty-seven lacs. 

Haidar Ali, who had been summoned to Mysore, owing 
to disputes between Devaraj and his brother Nanjraj, 
found the troops in a state of mutiny owing to arrears 
of pay. By his address, and a careful scrutiny of the 
accounts, he was enabled to pay all legitimate claims, 
and to disband more than 4,000 men, while he seized 
the ringleaders of the revolt and plundered them. 
After the Maratha troops had withdrawn into their 
own territory, Haidar counselled evading the pay- 
ment due to Poona from the assigned districts, but 
the Peshwa, resenting this breach of the obligations 
entered into by Mysore, despatched in 1759 a force 
under Gopal Hari to annex this domain. Having 
accomplished this task, the Maratha leader invested 
Bangalore, and seized Chennapatam, between that 
place and Seringapatam. But Haidar, who had been 
placed in command of the Mysore army, deputed 
a favourite officer named Lutf Ali Beg to surprise 
Chennapatam, a feat which he successfully accom- 
plished, thus compelling Gopal Hari to relinquish the 
blockade of Bangalore. For some months the rival 
forces confronted one another, but at length the 

their nominal subservience, although they were the ' de facto ' 
rulers. For instance, Balaji's seal bore the following inscription : 
Sri Raja Sahii Narapati Raja Sahu, King of men, 

Harsha Nidhan i.e. Treasury of delight ; 

Balaj'i Baji Rao Balaji Baji Rao, 

Mukhya Pradhan. Chief Minister. 


Marath chief, foiled by the incessant activity and 
energy of his adversary, agreed to withdraw his 
troops, and to relinquish the pledged districts, on 
condition that thirty-two lacs should be paid by 
Mysore. Half of this sum was speedily raised by 
a forced contribution, while the Maratha bankers 
accepted Haidar's personal security for the remainder, 
the realization of the revenues of the pledged territory 
meanwhile being confided to him. On the departure 
of the Marathas, Haidar returned to Seringapatam, 
and received from the grateful Raja the title of Fatah 
Haidar Bahadur, in recognition of his services on this 
occasion. This style he invariably used afterwards 
on all grants made by him. Previously he had been 
known simply as Haidar Nayak. 

(r) Balaji Viswanath of Srivardhan in Chaul, 1714-20. 

(a) Baji Rao Balal, 1720-40. Chimnaji. 

Balaji Baji Rao, 1740-61. (6) Raghunath Rao, or 

Raghuba, 1773-82. 

Viswas Rao, (4) Madhu Rao, (5) Nrayan Rao, (8) Baji Rao 
killed in 1761 1761-73, 1772-73, Raghunath, 

at Panipat. s. p. murdered. 1795-1818, 


(7) Madhu Rao Narayan, Dhundhu Panth. 
1782-95. Nana Sahib 

rebelled 1857 



THE young Raja Chikka Krishnaraj of Mysore had 
long smarted under the thraldom of his Mayor of 
the Palace, Nanjraj, and it occurred to the dowager 
queen that advantage might be taken of the ascendancy 
over the troops which Haidar had acquired to get rid 
of the obnoxious minister. This was successfully 
achieved with the aid of Khande Rao, but the effect 
was to exchange King Log for King Stork, for 
Haidar, having practically command of the army 
and of the revenue of nearly half the kingdom, kept 
the Raja in the same state of dependence as before. 
Khande Rao was then won over by the Rani, and by 
his advice recourse was had to the Marathas, at 
a time when the greater part of Haidar's troops 
were engaged in operations below the ghdts, and 
a force was despatched to Seringapatam to attack 
him. Taken by surprise, Haidar was compelled to flee 
in haste, leaving his family behind him, and, attended 
by only a few faithful followers, reached Bangalore, 
having ridden ninety-eight miles in twenty hours. 

This was a critical period in Haidar's career. 


Having lost all his treasure and his artillery, his sole 
hope was in the troops under the command of his 
brother-in-law, Makdum All, then engaged in warfare in 
the Arcot district, while the main object of the treach- 
erous Khande Rao, who owed everything to Haidar's 
patronage, was to annihilate this force with the aid of 
the Marathas. Fortune however favoured Haidar. For 
just at this time the Peshwa's army was signally de- 
feated in the memorable battle fought against Ahmad 
Shah Abdali at Panipat in 1761, and the Maratha 
force in Mysore, commanded by Visaji Pandit, was 
recalled hastily to Poona, the only conditions exacted 
being the cession of the Baramahals 1 and the pay- 
ment of three lacs of rupees. The money was paid, 
but the territory mentioned was never surrendered, 
while Haidar, relieved from the pressure which had 
been put upon him, proceeded to encounter Khande 
Rao at Nanjangud, twenty-seven miles south of 
Seringapatam. He was, however, defeated. Haidar 
then adopted the singular course of throwing himself 
as a suppliant at the feet of Nanjraj, the late Minister, 
who, completely deceived by his professions of fidelity, 
was weak enough to put him in command of a respect- 
able body of troops, and to give him the title of 

1 The districts referred to are in the northern part of the Salem 
district of Madras, the hills which enclose the greater part of them 
protruding from the plateau of Mysore, the passes into which they 
practically commanded. The territory nominally comprised twelve 
districts, whence the name of ' Baramahal,' but the precise extent of 
the territory so called seems to have varied at different times. The 
excellent Salem District Manual derives the word Mahal from the 
Persian for a palace, but it is more probably Mahal, i.e. a district. 


Dalwai, or commander-in-chief. Armed with this 
authority Haidar endeavoured to effect a junction 
with the force at Seringapatam, but was out- 
manoeuvred by Khande Rao, and his ruin seemed 
inevitable. But he fabricated letters in the name of 
Nanjraj to the officers of the latter's troops, desiring 
them to surrender Khande Rao in accordance with a 
pre-arranged agreement. These letters were designedly 
carried to Khande Rao, who, fearing a conspiracy, 
abandoned his army, and fled to Seringapatam. 

Haidar, hearing of Khande Rao's flight, attacked 
his troops, and gained an easy victory, capturing all 
his guns and baggage, while the infantry readily 
sided with the conqueror. For some months he was 
actively engaged in reducing all the forts below the 
passes which had come into possession of Khande 
Rao. During these operations he added largely to 
his following, and when his preparations were com- 
plete, he assembled his army on the banks of the 
Kaveri, opposite to Seringapatam. After a few days 
of apparent inactivity, Haidar suddenly dashed across 
the river, and surprised the enemy's camp, scattering 
dismay among the troops, who at once acknowledged 
his authority. He then, after arranging for the Raja's 
personal expenditure, demanded that the control of 
affairs should be made over' to him, and that his 
treacherous friend Khande Rao should be surrendered 
to his mercy. A story is told as to this last incident, 
to the effect that the ladies of the palace interceded for 
the unfortunate Brahman, whereupon Haidar replied 



that he would cherish him like a totd (parrot), a 
promise which he kept by keeping him in an iron 
cage, and feeding him on rice and milk till the end of 
his life. 

The Nizam Salabat Jang, who was of inferior 
capacity, had two younger brothers, named Basalat 
Jang and Nizam Ali Khan, by the latter of whom he 
was deposed and imprisoned in 1761. The other 
brother, Basalat Jang, who was in charge of the 
Adoni district bordering on Mysore, deemed the occa- 
sion favourable for extending his own possessions, 
and accordingly meditated the reduction of Sira ; but 
finding the place strongly occupied by the Marathas, 
who had seized it four years before, he advanced 
upon Hoskote, not far from Bangalore. Haidar, 
ascertaining that he was unable to seize that town, 
entered into negotiations with him, with the result 
that Haidar, on the payment of three lacs, was 
appointed Nawdb of Sira, and proclaimed as Haidar 
Ali Khan Bahadur, a title which Basalat Jang had 
no authority whatever to bestow, but which was 
afterwards openly assumed by Haidar. 

On the departure of Basalat Jang, after the occu- 
pation of Sira, Haidar Ali turned his attention to 
the reduction of the Palegars of Chikka Ballapur, 
Raidrug, Harpanhalli, and Chitaldrug, all of whom 
were compelled to submit to his authority and to pay 
tribute. While Haidar was encamped near Chital- 
drug, his assistance was solicited to replace on the 
masnad an individual who gave himself out to be 


the legitimate Raja of Bednur, a chiefdom in the 
Malnad, a hill country to the westward, and better 
known as the territory of the Nayaks of Kiladi. 
Kiladi, now a petty village in the north-west of 
Mysore, was the homestead of two brothers who, 
about the year 1560, having found a treasure, and 
duly sacrificed a human victim, according to the bar- 
barous practice of the time, received from the Raja, of 
Vijayanagar a grant for the territory which their 
wealth enabled them to overrun. Their descendants 
moved the capital to Ikkeri l , ten miles to the south, 
where Venkatappa Nayak was ruling at the time 
when the Italian traveller Pietro della Valle visited 
this part of India about 1623. Della Valle, who 
had great powers of observation, gives an interesting 
account of the social and religious customs of the 
Lingayats, to which sect the chief belonged. Delia 
Valle was in the suite of the Portuguese envoy, for 
whose amusement various entertainments were pro- 
vided, among which Delia Valle mentions the Kola- 
hata dance, in which the girls held short sticks in 
their hands, which they struck against one another 
as they danced, singing as they circled round in the 
piazza of the temple. This dance is still practised 
by the Coorgs 2 . 

1 In the temple at Ikkeri are curious effigies of some of the 
Nayaks, one of whom, who was mad, is represented as fettered hand 
and foot. The distance between the pillars of this building was 
adopted as the standard for measuring the space between the several 
trees of a betel-nut plantation. 

4 Delia Valle appears to have married a Syrian lady, who died 

C 2 


In the distracted times when the Vijayanagar 
dynasty was tottering towards its fall, Ikkeri was 
considered unsafe as a capital, so the chiefs head- 
quarters were moved in 1640 by Sivappa Nayak to 
Bednur, or Bidururu. i. e. the town of bamboos. This 
was a central position in a difficult hilly country, 
surrounded by thick forests, whilst the Nayak forti- 
fied the town with strong outposts extending several 
miles, which made it, if not impregnable, at any rate 
sufficiently strong to defy all attacks by undisciplined 
troops. Horses were rarely found in the country, 
while no forage could be procured for them without 
great difficulty. The rough tracks were traversed by 
pack-bullocks, which, at the risk of fractured limbs, 
descended the rugged passes leading to the coast, 
laden with rice and betel-nut, and bringing back 
cloths and salt, while in every pass and gorge was 
a guard of soldiers, who not only stopped all hostile 
invaders, but acted as custom-house officers, and 
levied toll on all imports and exports. 

Sivappa Nayak was an able administrator, who 
took practical steps to test the real value of land by 

during his absence from his native land. He carried her remains 
however to Rome, and deposited them in the family vault in the 
church of Ara Coeli, erecting a large cross, on the foot of which was 
inscribed the following epitaph in 1626 : 

Maani Gieroidae, Heroinae 

Petri De Valle Perini uxoris 

Mortales exuviae, 

See Notes in Goethe's ' West-Oestlicher Divan ' on Pietro della 


cultivating various crops and noting the produce and 
the market-rates, by which he arrived at a fair notion 
of the capabilities of each description of soil, and was 
enabled to fix an equitable assessment. During his 
rule the town increased rapidly, and became eventu- 
ally of such importance as to merit the appellation of 
nagar, or city, the name which it still bears, while the 
possessions of the chief included not only the greater 
part of the Malnad, or hill region, but also the plain 
country below the passes extending to the western 
coast, now called Kanara. In fact the territory com- 
prised nearly 10,000 square miles, while the Nayaks 
were at the beginning of the eighteenth century of 
greater importance than the Rajas of Mysore. 

In this secluded region the Nayaks held undisputed 
sway for two hundred years, but did not advance their 
frontiers to any extent after the death of Sivappa 
Ndyak, whose successors merely retained the posses- 
sions he had won. In 1755 Baswappa Nayak, the 
ruling chief, died, leaving his widow Virammaji as 
guardian of an adopted son named Chenna Baswaia. 
This youth is said to have been murdered by the 
widow and her paramour, but the claimant who was 
presented to Haidar averred that he was in effect 
the heir alleged to have been killed, and that he 
had escaped the machinations of the Hani and her 

Haidar, who derided the idea of hereditary rights, 
and was as unscrupulous as he was avaricious, 
was not slow to avail himself of the opportunity of 


attacking Bednur on pretence of restoring the fugitive 
to his lawful position. In the beginning of 1763 he 
set out on this expedition, distributing his troops into 
four columns, and having seized Shimoga, where he 
found four lacs of rupees, proceeded on to Kiimsi. 
Here he found the imprisoned minister of the late 
Raja, who readily undertook to be his guide through 
the wild country between Kumsi and the capital. 
The affrightened Rani, hearing of his advance, twice 
offered him large sums of money, but Haidar pressed 
onwards, rejecting all overtures, and the Rani fled to 
the fortress of Balalraidrug l . Acting on the infor- 
mation imparted by the ex-minister, Haidar, after 
ordering a false attack, passed through the outworks 
by a secret path, and suddenly made his appearance 
in the city. In an instant all was confusion, the 
inhabitants fleeing to the woods, while the Rani's 
guards, struck with fear, offered no resistance, but 
contented themselves with firing the palace. Haidar 
however promptly extinguished the flames, and know- 
ing well the reputed wealth of the town, set to work 
at once to appropriate the booty by systematically 
sealing up all the principal houses, the palace, and 
public offices. 

The value of the property thus acquired was reputed 
at twelve millions sterling, and Haidar attributed 
to this conquest his future successes. He made short 

1 This fortress is forty miles south of Bediiur. Some accounts 
state that she fled to Kaulidrug, another fort, only ten miles distant, 
which was taken after a month's siege. 


work of the Rani and her lover, who were arrested 
at Balalraidrug, and, together with her adopted son 
Somasekhara and the pretended claimant, forwarded 
to Madgiri, a hill fort in the eastern part of Mysore. 

Haidar at first thought of making Bednur, which 
he now called Haidarnagar, his capital, and formed 
designs for building there a palace and arsenal, with 
a local mint, besides constructing a dockyard on the 
coast. But a severe attack of illness, and a conspiracy 
in which many hundred persons were implicated, 
seem to have deterred him from this project. Three 
hundred of the conspirators were hanged, and all 
signs of revolt suppressed. His acute judgment 
soon showed him that by confining himself to the 
hill country he would lose his preponderating 
influence in Mysore proper. 



HAIDAR was conscious also that, by having ousted 
the Marathds from the Sira district, when he obtained 
the sham title of Nawab from Basalat Jang, he had 
incurred the resentment of the Peshwa, as well as that 
of the ruling Nizm. He therefore, after conquering 
the small territory of Sunda, north of Bednur, availed 
himself of the aid of Raza Ali Khan, son of Chanda 
Sahib, who had served with the French, to train and 
discipline his troops, preparing himself for the inevit- 
able struggle before him. Madhu Rao, who had suc- 
ceeded his father, Balaji Bajf R&o, as Peshwa in 1761, 
was an able and energetic ruler, and ill disposed to 
submit tamely to the insult put upon him by Haidar. 
He made extensive preparations to compel the latter 
to surrender the territory he had usurped. Haidar, on 
his part, knowing what a formidable enemy he had 
to meet, endeavoured to win over to his side the 
Nawab of Savaniir 1 , but failing in his attempts, 

1 The Mysore annalist, Mir Husse'n Ali Khdn, states that this 
Nawab had rendered assistance to the Rani of Bednur, when that 
place was captured by Haidar, who in consequence determined to 
punish him ; but this writer's account is so confused, and the dates 
given by him are so clearly wrong, that little reliance can be placed 
upon his narrative. 


attacked that chief and ravaged his country, seizing 
also the fortress of Dharwar on the other side of the 
Tungabhadra. In order to check his advance, the 
Peshwa pushed on Gopal Rao, the chief of Miraj, 
with a considerable force to attack Haidar, but the 
latter, notwithstanding his inferiority in numbers, 
obtained a victory. Soon, however, the main body 
of the Maratha aimy advanced to meet him, and 
a bloody contest ensued near Rattihalli, south of 
Savanur, in which, in spite of his skilful manoeuvres, 
Haidar was overwhelmed by the Maratha horse, and 
signally defeated, losing the best portion of his troops. 
To such a stress was Haidar now reduced that 
he had to flee with a few cavalry to the woods of 
the Bednur country, and although Madhu Rao's 
advance was for a time checked by the rainy season, 
he soon crossed the Tungabhadra, and pursued so 
vigorously that Haidar, hemmed in on all sides by 
the Marathas, was forced to despatch his family and 
treasure to Seringapatam, and to sue for peace. 
Madhu Rao consented, on condition that all the terri- 
tory formerly held by Morari Rao of Gutti should be 
restored, that Savanur should be surrendered, and 
that thirty-two lacs of rupees should be paid as 
an indemnity for the expenses incurred by the Ma- 
rathas. Haidar was not however disturbed in the 
possession of Sira, or of the tracts wrested by him 
from the neighbouring Palegars. 


IT is a remarkable fact that, although his fortunes 
seemed now to be reduced to the lowest ebb, Haidar 
immediately set about planning fresh conquests in 
another direction. As soon as order was restored in 
the eastern part of Mysore, where, owing to his defeat 
by the Marathas, an insurrection had broken out, he 
turned his eyes to an invasion of Malabar on the west 
coast, on the plea that it formed part of the Bednur 
principality. This region was first made known to 
Europeans by the voyage of Vasco da Gama, whose 
exploits are recorded in the celebrated Lusiad of 
Camoens. The seventh and eighth cantos of that 
poem give an interesting account of the interviews 
between the Portuguese hero and the Samuri or 
Zamorin l . 

1 ' Da terra os naturaes Ihe chamam Gate, 
Do pe do qual pequena quantidade 
Se esteiide hua fralda estreita, que combate 
Do mar a natural ferocidade : 
Aqui de outras cidades, sem debate, 
Calecut tern a illustre dignidade 


The region was originally called Kerala. It had been 
held by a chief styled Perumdl Che'rama'n, a deputy 
of the kings of the CheVa dynasty, whose dominion 
appears to have extended over all the country west 
of the ghdts, from Gokarnam in North Kanara down 
to about the ninth degree of north latitude. Tradition 
says that the last of these Viceroys became a Musal- 
man about the year 825 A.D., and resolved to go to 
Mecca, but, before doing so, he divided his possessions 
among his principal chiefs. To the Chirakkal or 
Kolattiri chief he left his regalia and the northern 
part of his territory ; to the Utayavar of Venat, 
ancestor of the Travancore Kaja, the southern part; 
to the Perimpatappa chief, who is supposed to have 
been his son, Cochin ; and to the Zamorin his sword, 
and as much country as the crowing of a cock could 
be heard over 1 . The language spoken in this part 
of Southern India is Malayalim, a Dravidian tongue 

De cabe9a de Imperio, rica, e bella : 
Samori se intitula o Senhor della.' 

Verse xxii. 

' Esta Provincia, cujo porto agora 
Tornado tendes, Malabar se chama : 
Do culto antigo os idolos adora, 
Que ca por estas partes se derrama : 
De diversos Reis he, mas d' hum so fora 
N' outro tempo, segundo a antigua fama : 
Sarama Perimal foi derradeiro 
Rei, que este Reino teve unido, e inteiro.' 

Verse xxxii. Canto vii. 

1 Another version is that the partition referred to was made on his 
death-bed, but although the cause assigned for the bequests varies 
as represented respectively by Hindu or Musalman authorities, the 
fact of the division is universally accepted. 


closely allied to Tamil ; and from time immemorial the 
matriarchal system prevailed, that is, on the death of 
a chief, for instance, his sister's sons succeeded, to the 
exclusion of his own sons, while females were adopted 
in case of failure of direct issue. It was formerly, 
and is perhaps to some extent still, the custom among 
the Nairs, who form the bulk of the population, that 
one woman should marry several brothers 1 . At an 
early period, owing to the constant commercial rela- 
tions with Arabia, Islam was introduced among the 
Nairs, and the descendants of the mixed race, half- 
Arab and half-Hindu, were called Mapillas 2 a hardy 
military race, but bigoted and fanatical. 

Haidar entered the country on the invitation of All 
Raja of Cannanore, a feudatory of the Kolattiri chief, 
who aimed at independence. He also claimed from the 
Zamorin a large sum due to Mysore, which that chief 
had engaged to pay in order to buy off Haidar' s 
troops when, in 1757, they had espoused the cause 
of his rival, the Palghat Raja. Owing to the gallant 
resistance of the Nairs, and to the difficulty of forcing 

1 When one of the brothers visited the wife, he left his sandals 
and his weapons in charge of a servant in the porch, as a sign that 
the lady was engaged. The wife had the care of the children, who 
would refer to the husbands of the mother, but never to the father, 
whom indeed it would be difficult to identify. The custom is of 
great antiquity, and is illustrated by the story of the celebrated 
Pandavas and their common spouse Draupadi. 

2 Said to be a contraction of Maha (great) and pilla (child). 
Some derive the word from Ma (mother) and pilla, and others 
again from Mocha and pilla, because the fathers came originally 
from Arabia. 


his way through the thick forests which impeded his 
progress, Haidar's losses were heavy. But after deter- 
mined opposition on the part of the enemy, and tre- 
mendous carnage in their ranks, he succeeded in 
reaching Kalikat (Calicut), when the Zamorin ten- 
dered his submission. Haidar received him kindly, 
and settled his military contribution at four lacs of 
sequins, but, suspecting treachery, sent troops to 
occupy Calicut ; and as the Zamorin delayed payment, 
he and his minister were imprisoned, the latter being 
tortured. The Zamorin, fearing a similar disgrace, set 
fire to the house in which he was confined, and perished 
in the flames. The chiefs of Cochin and Palghat at 
once bowed their heads to the conqueror, and Haidar, 
after strengthening the fort of Calicut, proceeded to 
Coimbatore. Yet three months had hardly elapsed 
after his departure, when the Nairs rose in insurrec- 
tion, and compelled his speedy return. 

His lieutenant, Raza Sahib, marched from Madak- 
kara to suppress the revolt, but was hemmed in by the 
Nairs, unable either to advance or retreat. Haidar, in 
spite of the inclemency of the season and the flooded 
state of the country, advanced boldly into the interior, 
his troops being exposed to heavy rain, and having 
frequently to cross the mountain streams up to their 
chins in water. The Nairs collected their forces in 
an entrenched camp, and inflicted great loss on the 
Mysore troops; but a French officer in Haidar's 
service gallantly led a storming party, which carried 
the enemy's position, and completely routed them. 


Resolved to strike terror into the insurgents, Haidar 
at first beheaded or hanged all who were taken 
prisoners, and then resorted to the expedient of 
deporting the wretched inhabitants wholesale to the 
plains of Mysore, where thousands of them perished 
from hunger and misery. 


IN 1766 Raja Chikka Krishnaraj died. Haidar 
ordered the Raja's eldest son Nanjraj to be installed as 
his nominal successor ; but finding on his return to the 
capital in 1767 that the young chief was inclined to 
assert his own authority, Haidar confiscated his per- 
sonal estates, plundered the palace, and assumed entire 
control over all his household affairs. He could not 
however but be aware that, by thus virtually declaring 
himself the ruler of Mysore, he would draw down upon 
himself active opposition from the Marathas who had 
crushed him in 1765 ; nor was Madhu Rao tardy in 
taking steps to overthrow the usurper. A Maratha 
coalition was formed with the Nizam for the purpose 
of invading Mysore, and although Haidar vainly 
endeavoured to arrest the progress of the Marathas 
by despatching Mahfuz Khan, the elder brother of 
Muhammad Ali, Nawab of Arcot, to negotiate terms, 
the Peshwa at the head of his army advanced steadily 
forward. Haidar resorted to the device of breaking 
down the embankments of the reservoirs, poisoning 
the wells, and driving away the miserable peasantry, 


so as to make the country a waste. But the Peshwa 
overcame all these obstacles, and reached Sira, then 
held by Mir Ali Raza Khan, Haidar's brother-in-law, 
who treacherously surrendered the fort and deserted 
Haidar's cause, receiving in reward the district of 
Gurramkonda. Haidar, alarmed at this betrayal of 
trust, despatched another envoy in the person of 
Appaji Ram, who by his skilful diplomacy induced 
the Marth& chief to withdraw his army on receiving 
thirty-five lacs of rupees, half of which was paid 
down, while the Koldr district was pledged for the 
remainder. Shortly afterwards the balance was paid, 
and Madhu Rao returned to his capital at Poona. 



THE Peshwa's ally, Nizam Ali, who had been fore- 
stalled by the more speedy action of the Marathas, 
now appeared on the scene, too late to reap any fruits 
from the enterprise. Nizam Ali was accompanied by 
an English corps, but it soon became evident that he 
contemplated throwing over the compact which he 
had made with the Madras Government, and allying 
himself with Haidar, for the purpose of invading the 
country below the ghdts. He succeeded in cajoling 
the English authorities at Madras by various pre- 
tences till the Mysore ruler had made all his prepara- 
tions. Their combined armies, amounting to 42,860 
cavalry, 28,000 infantry, with 109 guns, then de- 
scended into the low country, and attacked Colonel 
Joseph Smith, who was in command of the British 
troops on the frontier. Haidar at first contented 
himself with harassing the English by intercepting all 
supplies, but being urged on by the Nizam, their joint 
forces attacked Smith near the fort of Changama, 
where they were repulsed with considerable loss. 



Meanwhile Colonel Wood had been ordered to 
march from Trichinopoli to Trinomalai, where the 
Arcot Nawab had assured the Madras Government 
that ample supplies would be provided. In point 
of fact hardly anything was procurable there, and the 
place itself was indefensible. Colonel Smith, after 
his first encounter with Haidar, proceeded to 
Trinomalai to furnish himself with ammunition, and 
effected a junction with Colonel Wood, their united 
armies comprising 1,030 cavalry, 5,800 infantry, and 
1 6 guns. Haidar and the Nizam now advanced to 
attack the British troops, taking up a position about 
six miles from Trinomalai, where Haidar constructed 
a large redoubt. On Sept. 26, 1767, a hardly- fought 
contest ensued, which, in spite of their inferior 
numbers and the desperate charges made by the 
Mysore cavalry, resulted in a complete victory for the 
English, the allies losing more than 1.200 killed and 
37 guns, while the loss on our side was incon- 

On the cessation of the rainy season, Haidar re- 
captured Tirupatiir and Vaniambadi, and besieged the 
strong fort of Ambiir in the Baramahals, but was 
gallantly resisted by Captain Calvert, who held out 
till relieved by a British force sent from Velliir 
(Vellore) under the command of Smith. The English 
then attacked Haidar at Vaniambadi, which he evacu- 
ated. Learning however that a convoy with large 
supplies was on its way to join the English army, 
Haidar made a desperate attack upon it at Singara- 


petta, in which he lost several of his officers, and had 
his horse shot under him, narrowly escaping himself. 
This failure deterred him from prosecuting further 
hostilities, while his treacherous ally Nizam All, 
having received information that the English Govern- 
ment had sent a considerable force under Colonel 
Peach to attack his own territory, was anxious to dis- 
solve connexion with the Mysore chief. He accordingly 
made secret overtures to the English, and marched 
northwards, while Haidar, sending his artillery on 
ahead, accompanied by his son Tipu, reascended the 
passes, and proceeded westward to secure his posses- 
sions on the coast. During his absence in the late 
campaign, the Nairs of Malabar had shown signs of 
resistance to his authority, and had received support 
from the English Government at Bombay, who de- 
spatched an expedition to seize Mangaliir (Mangalore). 
Haidar, leaving Bangalore in charge of his trusty 
lieutenant Fazl Ullah Khan, marched with all haste 
to Malabar, and appearing in force before Mangalore 
captured it with ease, the garrison pusillanimously sur- 
rendering the place without opposition, together with 
their guns, stores, and treasure. Haidar then returned 
to his headquarters, visiting on his way Bednur, the 
landowners of which district had sent supplies to the 
British, an offence for which he compelled them by 
means of torture to pay heavy fines. 

After the withdrawal of Haidar from the eastern 
frontier, the Madras Government determined to send 
troops to reduce all the places seized by him in the 


B&ramahdls and the country as far south as Dindigal. 
Fort after fort fell before a column under Colonel Wood, 
who, having accomplished his part of the work, pro- 
ceeded to join Colonel Smith. The latter, after attack- 
ing the stronghold of Krishnagiri 1 , which surrendered, 
advanced into the Mysore plateau, and took Mulbagal, 
Koldr, and Hosur. He was hampered however by 
the presence of two members of the Madras Council, 
and was further informed that all arrangements for 
collecting the revenues of the conquered districts 
were to be made under the directions or with the 
assent of Muhammad Ali, the Nawab of Arcot, whose 
only object was to secure for himself all the territory 
wrested from Haidar's clutch. The Madras Govern- 
ment were apparently of opinion that a successful 
advance might be made on Bangalore, and perhaps on 
Seringapatam itself. But although the Maratha chief, 
Morari Rao, was induced to join Colonel Smith's force 
with a fairly strong contingent, the long period of 
inaction which intervened enabled Haidar to return 
from his distant expedition to Bangalore and to con- 
front the English before any further steps had been 
taken. He immediately attacked the Maratha camp 
by night, but the onset of his cavalry was defeated 
by Mordri RaVs strategy. Having been foiled in 
his attempt, and apprehensive of Bangalore being 

1 Krishnagiri is said to be a virgin fortress, never having teen 
taken, though often attacked. There are numerous other strong- 
holds in India (of which a most interesting account might be 
written) of far greater strategical importance, but very few which 
have not succumbed to an enemy by assault. 


stormed, he sent off his family and treasure to the 
rock-fortress of Savandrug, a place of great natural 
strength, twenty- eight miles to the west. 

Haidar endeavoured ineffectually to prevent Colonel 
Wood from joining the force under Colonel Smith, 
and fled precipitately when the union was accom- 
plished, making his way to Gurramkonda, where he 
succeeded in inducing his brother-in-law, All Raza 
Khan, to rejoin his standard with his trained troops. 
Thus reinforced, he returned towards Kolar, but still 
fearing the probable investment of Bangalore, he made 
overtures for peace, offering to cede the Baramahals 
and pay ten lacs to the British. He declined however 
to make any concession to Muhammad Ali, whom 
he thoroughly despised. His offers fell far short of 
the demands of the Madras delegates, who not only 
called for the cession of a large territory to their own 
Government, but also for the payment of tribute to the 
Nizam. Nothing came therefore of the negotiations, 
and hostile operations recommenced. 

Mention has been made of Mulbagal as one of the 
places occupied by Colonel Smith. While he was 
absent, the Madras delegates thought proper to remove 
his garrison, and to replace them with a company of 
Muhammad All's soldiers. Haidar, on returning from 
Gurramkonda, won over the commandant and seized 
the fort, which Colonel Wood at once advanced to 
recover, being ignorant however that Haidar's army 
was in the vicinity. Wood succeeded in seizing the 
lower fort, but the citadel repelled his attempt at an 


escalade, and the next morning Haidar swooped down 
upon him with a large body of horse, followed by 
a heavy column of infantry. A desperate combat 
ensued, in which Haidar's guns played with great 
effect, and the English were on the point of being 
worsted, when Captain Brooke, in command of four 
companies forming the baggage guard, with great 
exertion contrived to drag two guns by a concealed 
path to the top of one of the adjoining rocks l , from 
which he opened fire on the enemy, calling out, to- 
gether with his men, the name of ' Smith.' The 
Mysoreans, supposing that Colonel Smith had come 
up to support Colonel Wood, retreated for a time, 
while Wood was enabled to strengthen his position. 
Haidar however resumed the attack, and made 
a desperate charge up the hill with his cavalry, but 
was driven back with great loss, both sides suffering 
heavily. Expresses were despatched to Colonel Smith 
for assistance. Before he could arrive Haidar and 
his army had disappeared. 

It was clear to the English commanders that their 
force was quite insufficient to capture Bangalore, and 
that Haidar was not to be drawn into a regular 
engagement. He was here, there, and everywhere, 
harassing the enemy with his cavalry, and easily 
evading pursuit, while he had no hesitation in 
devastating the country to destroy all supplies of 

1 The configuration of the country in this part of Mysore is 
remarkable, rocks of every size and shape being tossed about in the 
wildest confusion. Here also are the auriferous tracts which in 
recent years have yielded so much gold to European industry. 


food. Smith's failure to force him into a general 
action brought down upon himself however the 
reproaches of the Madras Government, who had 
expected him, with insufficient means, in men, ammu- 
nition, and provisions, to accomplish the impossible. 
The futile result was really owing to their own fatuity, 
want of prescience, and unreasonable confidence in 
the aid to be rendered by Muhammad All. Colonel 
Smith was directed to repair to Madras, leaving 
Colonel Wood in command, and Haidar at once 
commenced to besiege Hosur. Wood advanced to its 
relief by way of Baglur, a few miles distant, leaving 
there his heavy guns and baggage in charge of Captain 
Alexander, who commanded a regiment of Muhammad 
All's force. But meanwhile Haidar, relinquishing 
temporarily the siege of Hosiir, got between Wood 
and Baglur, which place he attacked, and, notwith- 
standing a gallant resistance, succeeded in carrying 
off Wood's heavy guns and ammunition, and for- 
warded them to Bangalore. On Wood's retracing his 
steps, he suddenly found himself overwhelmed by 
Haidar's army, which drove in his outposts, and 
commenced a heavy artillery fire that carried de- 
struction into his ranks. These attacks were repeated 
as he resumed his march, and such was the persistence 
of the enemy that, with failing ammunition, his 
native troops began to lose all confidence in their 
leader, when Major Fitzgerald, who was stationed at 
Venkatagiri, pushed on to his relief, and averted his 
entire destruction. The result of this unfortunate 


enterprise was that Wood was recalled, Colonel Lang 
being sent to supersede him. 

While these abortive attempts were being made to 
seize Bangalore, Haidar had sent his lieutenant Fazl 
Ullah Khan to Seringapatam to raise fresh levies of 
troops, with a view to retaliation on the British. When 
his preparations were complete, he despatched Fazl 
Ullah in November, 1768, with a large force down the 
Gajalhatti Pass to reduce the smaller posts held by 
the enemy, following himself a month later with the 
greater part of his army. The resistance encountered 
by Fazl Ullah Khan was so slight that he had little 
difficulty in occupying the places referred to, while 
Haidar, entering the Coirnbatore district, seized Karur 
and marched towards Erode. On his way thither he 
was encountered by Captain Nixon, who was under 
the belief that he was opposed only by Fazl Ullah 
Khan. Overwhelmed by the immense army launched 
at him by Haidar, who was in command of 12, coo 
cavalry and a large body of infantry, Nixon was 
completely defeated, scarcely a man escaping death 
or wounds, while Haidar advanced triumphantly on 
Erode and compelled its surrender. The British officer 
second in command had capitulated at Vaniambadi in 
the previous year on condition that he would not serve 
again during the war, and Haidar, taking advantage 
of this undoubted breach of honour, sent the whole 
garrison, as well as that of Kaveripuram, which fell 
shortly afterwards, to languish in prison at Seringa- 
patam. Haidar had now reconquered all the districts 


south of the ghdts which had been wrested from him 
by the English, and marched eastward towards Madras, 
a movement which so alarmed the Government there 
that they despatched Captain Brooke to offer terms of 

In the interview which ensued Haidar showed 
a desire to arrange matters, seeing clearly that the 
friendship of the British would be more advantageous 
to him than their hostility. But he resolutely set 
his face against any concessions to the treacherous 
and selfish Nawab of Arcot, who had oppressed and 
plundered his subjects, and whose exclusion from 
any arrangement he firmly demanded. As, however, 
the influence of the Nawab was predominant in the 
counsels of the Madras Government, the negotiation 
was fruitless and hostilities were resumed *. Haidar, 
with that indomitable energy which characterized 
him, then resorted to an expedient to terrify the 
authorities at Madras. Sending off the main body 
of his army with orders to retire westward through 
the Ahtiir Pass, he himself proceeded eastward, ac- 
companied by 6,000 chosen horse and a very few 
infantry, and by a forced march of 130 miles reached 
St. Thomas' Mount, five miles from Madras, in three 
days and a half. 

Here he was practically able to dictate his own terms 
to the English, and at his suggestion Mr. Du Pre was 

1 Haidar is alleged to have spoken to the envoy as follows : ' I am 
coming to the gates of Madras, and I will there listen to the propo- 
sitions the Governor and Council may have to make.' 


deputed to meet him. His first demand was for an 
offensive and defensive alliance, having in view the 
co-operation of the English in repelling the repeated 
attacks of the Marathas on his territory. He did 
not succeed in carrying his point in this respect, 
although the Madras Government consented to 
a stipulation that in case either of the contracting 
parties should be attacked by other powers, mutual 
assistance should be rendered to drive the enemy out. 
The conference ended in an agreement, dated March 29, 
1769, for the restoration on both sides of prisoners and 
places. Among the latter, Kariir, an old possession 
of Mysore, but then held by Muhammad Ali, was 
surrendered to Haidar. It cannot be denied that, 
both in regard to the military operations which 
preceded this treaty and to the conditions which it 
embodied, the Mysore chief evinced high qualities as 
a tactician and the sagacity of a born diplomatist. 
On the other hand, the proceedings of the Madras 
Government were characterized by a mixture of 
rashness and irresolution, and an absurd confidence 
in their treacherous ally Muhammad Ali, of whose 
duplicity Haidar had, on the contrary, formed an 
accurate estimate 1 . 

1 A French writer says that, by Haidar's directions, a derisive 
caricature was affixed to one of the gates of Fort St. George, in 
which the Governor and his Council were represented as on their 
knees before Haidar, who held Mr. Du Pr& by the nose, drawn in 
the shape of an elephant's trunk, which poured forth guineas and 
pagodas. Colonel Smith was shown holding the treaty in his hand, 
and breaking his sword in two. 



HAIDAR had now to prepare for another formidable 
invasion of Mysore by the Marathas. Fortified by 
the tacit assent of Nizam All, who viewed with alarm 
the pretensions of his brother Basalat Jang, Haidar 
proceeded to levy contributions from the Nawabs of 
Kadapa and Karnul, as well as from the smaller 
chiefs who were subordinate to Sira. Having thus 
replenished his treasury, he prepared to oppose the 
Peshwa's army, demanding also assistance from the 
English under the provisions of the treaty recently 
executed. The aid demanded was however never 
rendered, and Haidar was left alone to bear the brunt 
of the Maratha attack. Knowing his inability to 
meet the foe in the open field, he retreated towards 
his capital, wasting the country as he retired; but 
finding his position precarious, he sent an envoy to 
treat for terms. Madhu Rao demanded a million 
(one crore of rupees), partly on account of the exac- 
tions levied by Haidar from the chiefs just referred 
to, and partly as arrears of tribute, which the 


Peshwa claimed as being the overlord of Mysore in 
right of the Maratha succession to the sovereignty of 
Bijapur. These exorbitant demands being rejected by 
Haidar, Madhu Rao proceeded to occupy the country, 
overrunning all the northern and eastern districts, and 
establishing garrisons at the principal posts. He 
carried everything before him, but only met with 
a signal repulse in attacking Nijagal, an almost 
inaccessible fort about thirty miles north-west of 
Bangalore. This place, after an investment of three 
months, was at last taken by the desperate courage 
of the Palegar of Chitaldrug, who, at the head of his 
brave band of Bedars, succeeded in seizing the fortress 
by escalade. Madhu Rao ordered the noses and ears 
of all the survivors of the garrison to be cut off, 
the only man who escaped mutilation being the com- 
mandant, Sardar Khan, whose undaunted behaviour 
before the Peshwa secured him immunity. 

Madhu Rao, whose movements had been attended 
with entire success, now fell ill and returned to Poona, 
leaving his maternal uncle Trimbak Rao in command 1 . 
This chief, after reducing Gurramkonda, returned to 
the west, conquering several districts not yet seized 
by his nephew ; but in the meanwhile Haidar had 
assembled a large force of cavalry and infantry, with 

1 Trimbak Eao was a son of Hari Bhatt, the progenitor of the 
Patwardhan family, which was allied by marriage to the Peshwa, 
and, though Brahmans by caste, gave many commanders to the 
Maratha armies, especially Parasu Earn Bhao, who became notorious 
for the ruthless devastations which he committed in Mysore and 
the adjoining territory. 


which he determined to stay the invasion of his 

There is a sacred shrine called Melukote about 
twenty miles north of Seringapatam. Haidar, after 
some ineffectual manoeuvres near the stupendous rock- 
fortress of Savandrug, entered the eastern pass lead- 
ing into the hills within which Melukote is situated, 
and drew up his troops in the form of a crescent 
facing the west, with his flanks resting on the most 
inaccessible sides of the hills. There happened how- 
ever to be a detached hill on the eastern approach, 
from which the Marath&s during eight days kept up 
a galling cannonade. To this, Haidar, having no large 
guns, was unable to reply, and his position became at 
length so intolerable that he resolved to retire on 
Seringapatam by the southern pass of the hills. His 
troops marched at night, but Haidar, having drunk 
freely in the evening, was not in a fit state to superin- 
tend the movement, while his son Tipii was nowhere 
to be found 1 , and the accidental firing off of a gun 
apprised the Marathas that the Mysore army was in 
retreat. An immediate pursuit was ordered, and the 
Maratha cavalry, aided by some guns which were 
brought to bear upon the enemy with great effect 
from the banks of a reservoir called the Pearl Tank, 
hovered in swarms about Haidar's infantry, which 
with much difficulty reached the hills near Chirkuli, 
or Chinkurali. Here the utmost confusion ensued, 

1 Haidar is said to have personally chastised Tipu for this breach 
of duty. 



and during the panic the Marathd, horse charged the 
fugitives, and breaking through the square which had 
been formed, commenced an indiscriminate slaughter. 
Seeing that all was lost, and that the enemy were 
engaged in plundering his camp, Haidar escaped alone 
and unattended to Seringapatam, a distance of eleven 
miles, and was soon after followed by Tipu in the 
disguise of a fakir or mendicant. The only officer 
who behaved gallantly on the occasion was Fazl 
Ullah Khan, who, cutting his way through the enemy, 
with a small body of men, forded the Kaveri and 
reached Seringapatam in safety. This disastrous affair 
occurred on March 5, 1771. 

Melukote, being a richly-endowed shrine and the 
headquarters of the sect of Sri Vaishnava Brahmans, 
offered an irresistible allurement to the greed of the 
Marathas, and as the place was deserted they did 
not hesitate, after pillaging the precincts, to set fire to 
the temple cars, which involved the destruction of the 
sacred buildings. The delay caused by the inveterate 
habit of plundering which characterized the Marathas 
enabled Haidar to take measures for the effectual 
defence of his capital, which Trimbak Rao besieged 
with no result. The Maratha host continued how- 
ever to hold the greater part of his territory for more 
than a year. Haidar, despairing of getting rid of the 
enemy, then sued for peace, which was concluded in 
June, 1772, on his agreeing to pay at once fifteen 
lacs, and a like sum afterwards, some of his richest 
districts being given in pledge. During the course 


of these hostilities Haidar discovered that the young 
Raja Nanjraj had been in secret communication 
with the Marathas, whereupon he ruthlessly ordered 
him to be strangled, substituting for him his brother 
Chamraj . 



BELIEVED from the pressure imposed upon him by 
the Marathas, Haidar began to recruit his means by 
exacting heavy contributions from all the wealthy 
persons he could seize. On hearing of the dissensions 
at Poona as to the succession, on the death of the 
Peshwa Narayan Rao 1 , he despatched Tipu to regain 
possession of the territory ceded to the Marathas, 
while he himself prepared to recover Malabar. Be- 
tween the Mysore country and Malabar intervenes the 
small mountainous district of Coorg now the field 
of active European enterprise in the production of 
coffee, and as its subjugation appeared to Haidar to 
be essential to his keeping open his communication 
with the coast, he suddenly entered the country 
towards the end of 1773- 

Coorg, or Kodagu, is a most picturesque alpine 
region, heavily wooded, and bounded on the west by 

1 Narayan Rao succeeded his brother Madhu Rao in 1772, but 
was treacherously murdered in the ensuing year, at the instigation 
of his uncle Raghuba, who then claimed the succession, to the 
exclusion of a posthumous son of Narayan Rao, named Madhu Rsto 


the great chain of Ghats, which look down upon 
Malabar. It is inhabited by a sturdy and warlike 
race, the headmen living each on his own farm home- 
stead, surrounded by the dwellings of his kinsmen, 
and his agrestic labourers, who were formerly serfs. 
By religion the Coorg Rajas were Lingayats, and the 
word Brahman stank in their nostrils. The mass 
of the people worshipped the sylvan deities, to whom 
many of the finest forests in the country were dedicated. 
The Coorgs appear to have maintained their independ- 
ence, only acknowledging the jurisdiction of their 
own local chiefs, till the early part of the seventeenth 
century, when a scion of the Ikkeri house, previously 
mentioned, settled in the country as a devotee, and 
gradually obtained an ascendancy over the people, 
who made him yearly offerings, and consented to 
guard his person by sending relays of watchmen. In 
the course of a few years he felt himself sufficiently 
strong to declare himself ruler of Haleri and the sur- 
rounding districts ; and somewhat later all the head- 
men acknowledged him as their chief, agreeing to pay 
him one-quarter of their rentals. 

When Haidar seized Bednur in 1763 he affected to 
regard Coorg as tributary to that principality, and in 
1765 sent a force to reduce the country, but was 
foiled in his attempt. In 1770 a dispute broke out 
in Coorg as to the succession. Lingaraj, uncle of 
one of the claimants, sought the aid of Haidar. who 
was only too ready to promise his support. The 
Marathd invasion had caused Haidar to suspend his 



designs, but as soon as he had got rid of his powerful 
enemy, he proceeded with a large force to Coorg, and 
intriguing with both sides, succeeded in reaching 
Merkara, the capital, with little opposition l . Devappa, 
the antagonist of the claimant whose cause Haidar 
had espoused, fled, but was shortly afterwards seized 
and sent to Seringapatam, where he died in prison. 
Haidar, having attained his object, at once despatched 
a force through Wainad to Calicut, and speedily 
achieved the re-conquest of the whole of Malabar. 

1 Some authorities state that on his first appearance on the frontier 
Haidar offered a reward of five rupees for the head of every Coorg 
which was brought to him, and that 700 heads were in consequence 
delivered. This account may be true, and is paralleled by the 
conduct of General Avitabile, who, when in command at Peshawar, 
actually gave a grant of two villages to a leader of cavalry on con- 
dition that he brought in yearly the heads of fifty Afridis. The 
writer has a copy of this assignment of land. 



WHILE engaged in re-establishing his authority on 
the coast, Haidar ordered Tipii to recover the districts 
wrested from him by the Marathas. This was accom- 
plished l&y the beginning of 1774, after which he took 
advantage of the doubtful position in which Raghuba, 
or Raghunath Rao, stood, to offer his co-operation 
and acknowledge him as the rightful Peshwa on 
condition that the tribute payable by Mysore should 
be reduced to six lacs. The elevation of RaghuM 
was vehemently opposed by the famous Balaji Janar- 
dhan, commonly called Nana Farnavis, the finance 
minister of Madhu Rao, who supported the superior 
claims of Narayan Rao's posthumous son, and was 
afterwards a determined opponent of British influence. 
But Haidar cared little who was the rightful heir, and 
thought the opportunity favourable for securing his 
own interests. 

Shortly afterwards a serious insurrection broke out 
E 2 


in Coorg, owing to the oppressive exactions of the 
Brahman officials whom Haidar had appointed to 
collect the revenue, and whom the people of the 
country cordially detested. The landholders rose in 
every direction, and invested Merkara, but Haidar 
marched a strong force immediately into the province, 
and suppressed the rebellion with little difficulty, 
hanging without remorse all its leaders. 

In 1776 the young Raja Chamraj died. Haidar 
adopted the strange expedient of collecting together 
all the young scions of the house, and then throwing 
before them a variety of playthings and ornaments, 
watched the result. One of the children, named also 
Chdmraj, attracted by the glitter of a jewelled dagger, 
seized it in one hand and with the other grasped 
a lime, whereupon Haidar facetiously remafked that 
that was the real Raja, and accordingly ordered him 
to be installed as the future ruler l . 

Haidar's next expedition was to succour the Palegar 
of Bellary. on the north-east frontier of Mysore ; that 
chief having renounced his allegiance to Basalat Jang, 
who despatched a corps under M. Lally to besiege 
him. Haidar, marching with the extraordinary celerity 
which distinguished all his movements, reached Bel- 
lary in five days. He completely surprised the attack- 
ing party, and immediately seized the fort, which was 
unconditionally surrendered to him, while Lally 

1 This boy was the father of the late Maharaja Krishnaraj, who, 
after a long rule of sixty-eight years, died at a venerable age in 
1868, having been put on the throne of his ancestors in 1799. 


escaped with difficulty. He then proceeded to de- 
mand a heavy contribution from Morari Rao of Gutti, 
sixty miles to the eastward. On that chief refusing, 
he besieged the place, but although he succeeded in 
capturing the lower fort, where he secured a large 
booty, the upper citadel 1 , which was virtually im- 
pregnable, resisted all his efforts to take it. Owing to 
the great numbers of followers who were in the fort, 
the garrison began to be in want of water, and Morari 
Rao, concealing the fact, was anxious to come to an 
arrangement. But Haidar, having skilfully elicited 
from his envoy the distress to which his chief was 
reduced, protracted the negotiations till Morari Rao 
in despair was obliged to surrender with all his troops. 
Haidar, besides levying a contribution of ten lacs, 
annexed the adjacent territory, and sent the whole 
family to Seringapatam, whence Morari Rao was 
afterwards despatched to the fatal rock of Kabaldriig 2 , 
where he died. 

In March, 1775, Raghuba had succeeded in in- 
ducing the Bombay Government to support his cause. 
Strengthened by this alliance, he proposed to Haidar 

1 The citadel was on the summit of a huge smooth rock of granite, 
on the north side of a circular cluster of hill fortifications, all of 
which it overlooked. 

J This fortified hill is of conical shape, and is about 4.000 feet 
above the sea. The ascent is extremely steep and slippery, steps 
being cut in the solid rock to afford a sufficient hold to the feet. 
There is water on the summit, as in the case of nearly all the 
Mysore drugs, but it is most unwholesome, so that this circumstance, 
added to its isolated position in the south of the province, made the 
fortress a convenient state prison. One of the Mysore Rajas died 
while confined here. 


to occupy all the MaratM possessions up to the 
river Krishna, a plan which the Mysore ruler lost no 
time in carrying out, seizing nearly half this territory 
before the advent of the rainy season compelled him 
to return to Seringapatam l . 

The result of this coalition was that the Poona 
ministers and Niz&m Ali declared war against Haidar. 
They despatched a large force to dislodge him from 
the Savaniir country, while a still larger army was 
equipped for further operations. Their advance force 
was, however, skilfully defeated at Saunsi, ten miles 
north of Savanur, by Haidar's general, Muhammad 
Ali. By a feigned flight, he inveigled the Marathas 
into a rash pursuit, which brought them under the fire 
of the Mysore guns, and caused great confusion in their 
ranks. Then Muhammad Ali, making- a determined 
charge with his cavalry, utterly routed them, capturing 
two of their leaders, and inflicting great slaughter. 
Meanwhile the main army of the Marathas under 
Parasu Ram Bhao was advancing from Poona, while 
Nizam Ali had despatched a force of 40,000 men under 
Ibrahim Khan to co-operate from the eastward. The 
former, however, hearing of the decisive victory ob- 

1 Dharwar, the capital of this territory, was taken by an ingenious 
stratagem. A fictitious letter was sent to the commandant telling 
him that aid was coming to him from the Marathas. Haidar then 
dressed up some of his troops in the guise of Marathas and directed 
another detachment to attack them, and fire at them with blank 
cartridges. The garrison, believing that the first-named body con- 
stituted the expected relief, admitted them into the fort, when they 
seized the commandant, disarmed the defenders of the place, and 
took possession of it for Haidar. 


tained by Muhammad Ali, hesitated to advance, and 
applied for reinforcements, re tiring beyond the Krishna, 
while the Nizam's general, who had proceeded as far 
as Adoni on the way to Gutti, Haidar's headquarters, 
either fearing an encounter or being bribed by his 
adversary, also judged it expedient to withdraw within 
the Nizam's territory. The rainy season now set in 
and prevented any further military operations on 
either side. 



HAIDAR availed himself of this respite to punish the 
defection of the Palegar of Chitaldrug, who had failed 
to send his contingent to support him in the recent 
contest. It will be remembered that on the invasion 
of Madhu Rao, this Palegar had distinguished himself 
in the assault of the Nijagal fort, then held by Haidar, 
who never forgave him for this gallant feat, and was 
determined to compel his unconditional submission. 

The clan of Bedars, of which the Palegar Madakeri 
Nayak was the chief, is said to have migrated from 
Jadikaldrug in Kadapa, some marches west of the 
famous shrine of Tirupati, and to have settled in the 
neighbourhood of Chitaldrug in the year 1475. Their 
leader, named Tirnmana, was appointed by the King 
of Vijayanagar to the office of Nayak of Chitaldrug, 
and his son Obana, on the fall of Vijayanagar in 1564, 
assumed independence. The Bedars gradually extended 
their possessions, which eventually yielded a revenue 
of four or five lacs, but during the rule of Barmappa 
Nayak, the pdliam became tributary to the Mughal 


deputy at Sira. As Haidar had seized that district, 
which the Marathas also claimed as an appanage of 
the Bijapur Kingdom, the Nayak felt himself to be in 
a precarious position, both parties demanding his 
allegiance. He was at the same time conscious of the 
natural strength of Chitaldrug and of the fidelity of 
his clan. The town was built at the base of a mass of 
rugged desolate hills extending many miles west and 
south ; and was girt by an extensive line of fortifica- 
tions, which, when manned by the brave Bedars, 
offered a formidable resistance to Haidar's attacks. 
The siege was protracted for three months, the 
defenders constantly sallying out, and carrying back 
the heads of Haidar's soldiers as a propitiatory sacrifice 
to the goddess Kali. On hearing that a vast Maratha 
force was rapidly approaching his frontier, Haidar had 
to content himself with a handsome sum as ransom, 
and the evasive promise of the Palegar to join his 
standard in future. 

The Maratha host was commanded by Hari Panth 
Pharkia, and comprised 60,000 horse, with a due 
proportion of infantry and guns. After waiting for 
some time for the Nizam's force, they crossed the 
Tungabhadra, and encamped at Raravi, where Haidar 
advanced to meet them. He had previously bribed 
Manaji Pankria, an influential leader, to abandon Hari 
Panth at the decisive moment, and draw off his troops. 
But this chief wavering as to his course of action, Haidar 
directed demonstrations to be made in the shape of 
pretended communications with him, which inspired 


Hari Panth with a conviction of his treachery, and 
induced him to attack the recreant leader, who was 
overwhelmed by a mass of cavalry and driven off the 
field. Hari Panth then retired across the river, 
effecting his retreat in good order, but harassed by 
incessant assaults from the army of Haidar, who 
proceeded to seize all the territory between the 
Tungabhadra and the Krishna, reducing the strong- 
holds of Kopal and Gajendragarh, with minor posts, 
and capturing Dharwar after a long siege. All the 
local chiefs then tendered their submission, and having 
completed his dispositions for the permanent occupa- 
tion of the country, Haidar returned to Mysore in 1779 
to wreak his vengeance on the Palegar of Chitaldrug, 
who had failed to co-operate with him in the recent 
struggle. The chief made a gallant resistance, but 
having in his service 3,000 Musalman soldiers, Haidar 
found means to corrupt them through the agency of 
a holy fakir who resided near the town. Madakeri 
N&yak, finding that he was betrayed, was obliged to 
throw himself on the mercy of Haidar, who, after 
plundering the place, despatched the Palegar and his 
family to languish in prison at Seringapatam. Haidar 
was determined to make short work of the brave 
Bedars who had so successfully fought against him, 
and heroically sacrificed their lives in defending their 
hereditary chief. Not content with confiscating all 
their available property, and ravaging the district for 
the support of his army, he carried off to his capital 
20,000 of the inhabitants. The young boys were 


afterwards trained to arms, and formed the first 
nucleus of a band of compulsory converts from 
Hinduism to Islam ; a band which was largely aug- 
mented in the reign of Tipu Sultan, under the title of 
the Chela, or disciple battalions l . 

1 The kind-hearted but simple missionary, Schwartz, when he 
visited Seringapatam in 1779, was led to believe that these boys 
were destitute orphans, whom Haidar had kindly taken under his 



WHILE engaged in the above enterprise, Haidar had 
despatched his brother-in-law, All Raza Khan, called 
Mir Sahib, to enforce the submission of the Nawab of 
Kadapa, Abd-ul-Halim Khan. The latter had, in the 
contest with the Marathas, abjured the cause of Haidar 
and served with the Nizam, but Mir Sahib failed to 
subdue the hardy Afghans, who resolutely opposed him. 
Haidar, when the siege of Chitaldrug was at an end, 
proceeded by forced marches to his assistance, and on 
reaching Dhur, north of Kadapa, came in contact with 
the Afghan cavalry. These, finding themselves attacked 
by the whole of Haidar's horse, retreated to the town 
in good order, but being completely surrounded, were 
compelled to surrender. Haidar was only too glad 
to take into his service such of this brave band as 
could obtain securities for their allegiance, but among 
them were eighty troopers whose horses had been 
killed, and who could not find any one to be surety for 
them. They refused to be disarmed, and Haidar, 


respecting their feelings, did not enforce the surrender 
of their weapons. Afghans, however, as he must have 
well known, are an eminently treacherous race. The 
eighty troopers, smarting under the disgrace to which he 
had proposed to subject them, rose in the dead of night, 
overpowered and killed the guards placed over them, 
and penetrated to the tent of Haidar, who, disturbed 
by the noise, made up the semblance of a person 
asleep with a pillow, cut a hole through his tent, and 
succeeded in escaping. On the alarm being given most 
of the assassins were slain. Such of them as survived 
had their hands and feet chopped off, while a few 
were killed by being dragged round the camp, 
attached to the feet of elephants 1 . The Nawab had 
fled to Sidhaut, a short distance to the east of Kadapa. 
but surrendered shortly afterwards, on a guarantee 
being given for his personal security. He was de- 
spatched to Seringapatam with the rest of his family, 
but his beautiful sister was compelled to marry the 
destroyer of her house, who placed her at the head of 
his harem with the title of Bakshi Begam 2 . 

1 This was a not uncommon mode of punishing malefactors. 
A more recent instance is the murder of Etoji, brother of Jasvvant 
Rao Holkar, who was barbarously killed in this fashion by the 
Peshwa Baji Rao in 1799. 

2 The heads of many of the State departments were styled 
' Bakshi,' literally meaning dispensers, bat technically controllers, 
so that this appellation probably signifies Controller of the Women's 
department no doubt a responsible post, for Haidar, though perhaps 
not susceptible in the higher sense to the charms of female beauty 
and never allowing any woman to influence his public actions, was 
a man of the loosest morals, and never spared any one of the sex 


Haidar's authority being now firmly established, he 
commenced a scrutiny into the several departments 
of the State. He appointed Mir Muhammad Sadik his 
minister of finance, and Shamaiya his head of police, 
with full powers, not only to prevent crime, but to 
extract by force, and even torture, the substance of 
all the wealthy men who came under his observation. 
Nor did this Brahman hesitate to avail himself of the 
foulest means to extort money for the service of his 
patron. Flogging was freely resorted to in order to 
mulct the revenue officials of their ill-gained accumu- 
lations, while all the bankers in the country were 
forced to pay heavy contributions for State expenses. 
Even the troops did not escape Haidar's exactions, 
inasmuch as he gradually introduced a system of pay- 
ment called the das mdhi, or ten months' pay in the 
year instead of twelve. The mounted troops, who 
horsed themselves, were paid for only twenty days in 
the month, the balance being supposed to be made up 
by the plunder which they were allowed to retain at 
Haidar's own valuation. 

Having crushed the Kadapa Nawab, Haidar next 
sought to attach the Savanur Nawab, Abd-ul-Hakim, 
to his interests by a nuptial alliance ; and, in accord- 
ance with his suggestions, that chief's eldest son 
married Haidar's daughter, while Abd-ul-Hakim's 
daughter was married to Karim, Tipti's brother. The 
tribute payable by the Nawab was reduced by one 

who had the misfortune to attract his attention. Eakshi Begam's 
tomb is at Vellore. 


half, on his agreeing to furnish 2,000 troopers for 
Haidar's service. All these arrangements were carried 
out to Haidar's satisfaction, and the marriage cere- 
monies were conducted, in 1779, with pomp and 
magnificence at Seringapatam in the presence of the 
two chiefs. 



DURING the progress of these festivities an ambas- 
sador named Gan^sh Rao arrived at Haidar's capital 
with proposals from the Poona Darbar that he should 
join the Marathas and the Nizam in expelling the 
English from Southern India. The history of the 
complicated transactions which led to this design 
will show to the unprejudiced reader, on the one hand 
the moderation of Haidar, and on the other the 
perfidy of the Nawab of Arcot and the weakness of 
the Madras Government. 

It may be remembered that in March, 1775, the 
Bombay Government had made a treaty with Raghuba, 
in which they agreed to support his pretensions. 
But it soon became apparent that the great mass of 
the Maratha nation, including the powerful chiefs, 
Sindhia and Holkar, were adverse to his rule, being 
stimulated in their opposition by the astute policy 
of Nana Farnavis, who, it is alleged, desired to sup- 
plant in his own person the family of the Peshwa. 


It is not proposed to discuss here the evil results, 
terminating in the disgraceful convention of Wargam, 
which arose from the ill-considered measures of the 
Bombay Government. It suffices to say that the Ma- 
ratha nation had good cause to be dissatisfied with 
the action of the British authorities, who had attempted 
to force upon them, as a ruler, one whose ascendancy 
was repudiated by all the influential chiefs of their 

The Nizam had also his grievances, which inclined 
him to co-operate with the Marathas and Haidar. 
On the occupation of the Sarkars, or the coast region 
of the Madras Presidency on the Bay of Bengal, one 
of these districts, that is, Gunttir, was granted as 
a jagir to Basalat Jang, with the assent of his brother 
Nizam Ali, the ruling Nizam. Some years afterwards 
Basalat Jang took into his service a force of French 
troops, whom he declined to disband, while the Nizam, 
on being applied to, refused to interfere. In 1 7 7 8, when 
war with France seemed imminent, the Madras Govern- 
ment availed themselves of the agency of Muhammad 
Ali o Arcot to enter into negotiations with Basalat 
Jang, ignoring his suzerain, the Nizam. The result was 
that Basalat Jang ceded the district for a certain 
rental, and dismissed his French troops, on condition 
that the English Government agreed to defend him 
against the attacks of Haidar on Adoni. No sooner 
had the Madras Government acquired possession of 
Guntur, than they leased it to Muhammad Ali. This 
was unquestionably an invasion of the rights of the 



Nizam, for, although the Company were to enjoy the 
reversion of the district on Basalat Jang's death, the 
Nizdm was during his lifetime the actual suzerain of 
the territory. Irritated by this contemptuous dis- 
regard of his rights, Nizam Ali was justified in stating 
to the English Resident who was despatched to his 
Court that, in acting as they had done, the Madras 
Government had set aside the treaty made with him. 
His indignation knew no bounds when he ascer- 
tained from the same envoy that they purposed also 
to ignore in future the payment of the tribute which, 
on the cession of the Sarkars by the emperor, the 
British Government had weakly consented to pay to 
the Nizam. 

Haidar on his part had still greater reason to com- 
plain of the manner in which he had been treated by 
the Madras authorities. In all his struggles with the 
Marathds, he had been studiously denied that co- 
operation and support which our treaty made with 
him in 1769 had apparently assured to him, while all 
his endeavours to effect a friendly alliance with the 
English had been thwarted by the evil influence of 
the Arcot Nawab, who, for his own aggrandizement, 
had kept open the breach between Haidar and the 
Madras Government. In 1767 the Arcot Nawab had 
sent an agent to England with instructions to bring 
about a direct intercourse with the British Govern- 
ment, independently of the authorities at Madras 
a proceeding which has in later times been pursued 
by other Indian potentates with evil results. 


In compliance with his solicitations, Sir John 
Lindsay was deputed from London to his court, with 
full powers to act, irrespectively of the Madras Govern- 
ment. The latter found themselves hampered in 
their action when this delegate insisted on their 
joining the Mardthas and Muhammad Ali in crushing 
Haidar, with whom they had a mutual defensive 
alliance. It redounds to the credit of Haidar Ali that, 
when the Marathas proposed, in 1771, to settle their 
differences with him by an engagement that he should 
assist them in subjugating the eastern provinces, he 
made known their proposals to the English authorities. 
He frankly stated his opinion that such a union would 
give the Marathas so predominant an influence that 
it would seriously imperil eventually his own posi- 
tion, and added that, if his alliance were rejected by 
the Madras Government, he should have no alternative 
but to seek assistance from the French. In 1773 ne 
renewed his endeavours to procure a treaty, but his 
proposals were again frustrated by the insidious policy 
of Muhammad Ali, who, while urging the English to 
decline Haidar's advances, was at the same time 
assuring that chief of his anxious desire to see them 
driven out of India. With this professed object, he 
even sent an embassy the next year to Seringapatam 
to beguile Haidar into a conviction of his sincerity. 
But Haidar was not to be deceived by his false 
protestations, and dismissed his envoys in contempt 
after they had been many months in Mysore. From 
this date Haidar abandoned all hopes of contracting 


a firm alliance with the English, and, although he 
maintained a semblance of friendship for a time, he 
felt that his own security necessitated his seeking 
support elsewhere. Animated by these feelings, he 
entered into correspondence with M. Bellecombe, the 
French Governor of Pondicherry, who, foreseeing an 
opportunity of restoring the prestige of his nation in 
India, readily furnished him with stores and ammu- 
nition, and promised him assistance. Haidar still 
hesitated however, before coming to an open rupture 
with us, and peace might have been preserved but 
for certain events which excited his indignation. 

On war breaking out between England and France. 
Pondicherry was captured from the French after 
a gallant resistance in 1778, and in March of the 
ensuing year, Mahd 1 , on the Malabar coast, also fell 
before the British troops. Haidar, who was in posses- 
sion of the whole of Malabar, except the few places 
occupied by European settlements, was enraged at 
the seizure of Mahe', which he alleged to be under 
his protection. His soldiers had in fact assisted in 
its defence. His main objection to its occupation by 
the English was that through Mane* he derived 
his military supplies, and he threatened the British 
Government that, in the event of Mahd being attacked, 
he would retaliate by invading Arcot. The capture of 
the settlement led to an uprising of the Nairs, who were 
anxious to throw off Haidar's yoke, but the rebellion 

1 This small French settlement has an area of only five square 
miles, with a population of 8,400, and is subordinate to Pondicherry. 


was suppressed without difficulty. Another cause of 
offence arose in this way. When Basalat Jang, as 
above mentioned, made over to the Madras Govern- 
ment the district of Guntur, he requested them to 
despatch troops to occupy it, and a detachment was 
accordingly directed to proceed to Adoni by way of 
Kadapa, at that time under Haidar's jurisdiction, and 
then on through Karnul to Guntur. No permission 
had been obtained, either from Haidar or the Nizam, 
for the troops to pass through their territories, the 
commanding officer being merely furnished with 
a recommendatory letter from the Madras Governor. 
The detachment was attacked in a rugged defile and 
compelled to retreat, and, although reinforcements 
were sent in haste from Madras, Haidar had mean- 
while despatched troops, which ravaged the whole 
country up to Adoni and stopped any further advance. 
He was aware of the intention of the Madras Govern- 
ment to lease Guntur to his enemy, Muhammad Ali. 
The Nizam for his part was equally opposed to the 
district being removed from his authority by the 
compact between his brother, Basalat Jang, and the 
British authorities at Madras. 

This last occurrence took place just at the time 
when Sir Thomas Rumbold, the Governor, had en- 
trusted the missionary, Schwartz, with a secret embassy 
to Haidar, who, resenting the conduct of the British 
in seizing Mahe', had written in strong terms to 
Madras complaining of their hostility, and intimating 
the probable consequences. Schwartz was received 


with cordiality, however, and Haidar expatiated fully 
on the actual state of affairs, speaking without reserve 
of preceding events, and expressing his wish to main- 
tain friendly relations if possible. In writing to the 
Governor, on the missionary's taking leave, he recalled 
all that had passed dwelling on the violation of the 
treaty of 1769, the treacherous behaviour of Muham- 
mad Ali, the rejection of his own offers for peace, and 
the hostile attitude evinced towards him by the two 
occurrences just related. His communications were 
straightforward, and placed all the facts of the case 
in the clearest possible light, but the Madras Govern- 
ment neither promised reparation, nor adopted ade- 
quate means of defence against the threatened invasion 
of their territory. Immediately after Schwartz's 
mission, another was despatched to Seringapatam to 
demand the release of some Englishmen, who had 
been seized at Calicut, and sent as prisoners to the 
capital. Mr. Gray, the envoy, was empowered not 
only to effect their freedom, but to attempt to resume 
friendly relations. The prisoners were in fact released 
before he entered Mysore, but, on his proceeding to 
Seringapatam, Haidar's attitude showed clearly that 
in his opinion the time for negotiation was passed. 
After reproaching the English Government for their 
want of faith, and rejecting all the proposals urged 
by their envoy, the latter was permitted to depart, 
having been studiously insulted, and treated rather 
as a spy than an ambassador. 



HAIDAR had at length resolved on war, and on 
carrying out, so far as he was concerned, the condi- 
tions laid before him by the Maratha envoy, Ganesh 
Rao. These prescribed mutual co-operation on the 
part of the Marathas, the Nizam, and Haidar, the 
last to be confirmed in possession of the territory held 
by him north of the Tungabhadra, while the tribute 
payable by him in future was to be fixed at 1 1 lacs. 
The general scheme of the confederacy was, that 
the Marathas should invade Berar, Central and 
Northern India, while Nizam AH undertook the sub- 
jugation of the Sarkars, and Haidar All that of the 
Madras territory and Southern India. The coalition 
was a formidable one, and, when aided by the French, 
threatened the very existence of the British power in 

Haidar now began his preparations for this invasion 
which he had so long contemplated. Having made 
due provision for the protection of all the principal 


posts in Mysore, he assembled his army at Bangalore, 
where he mustered 83,000 men 1 , a force which, in 
regard to efficiency, if not strength, surpassed any 
previously collected in Southern India. His system of 
maintaining scouts and spies was perfect, the com- 
missariat under Purnaiya was well organized, and every 
precaution was taken to ensure success, not omitting 
the customary religious ceremonies. Having gathered 
his forces at the heads of the passes, and issued his 
instructions to the commanders of the several columns, 
he suddenly, in July, 1 780, swept down upon the plains 
like an avalanche, carrying destruction with him. 

Muhammad Ali had warned the Madras Govern- 
ment of the intended invasion, although, beyond 
mere professions of fidelity to their cause, he had 
furnished neither money nor troops to assist them. 
His rapacity made him chary of proffering aid in the 
former shape, while his soldiers were in a state of 
mutiny owing to deferred pay. Haidar moreover 
had kept his secret well, while the Madras Council, 
having no proper intelligence department, had no 
means of penetrating his designs, and it was not 

1 The detail given by Wilks is as follows : 

Stable horse ..... 14,000 

Sillahdar horse 12,000 

Savanur Contingent .... 2,000 

Infantry Disciplined . . . 15,000 

Veteran Peons ..... 12,000 

Selections from local establishments 18,000 

Peons of Palegars .... 10,000 



till burning villages in the vicinity of St. Thomas' 
Mount, nine miles from Madras, betrayed his devas- 
tating course, that they began to prepare for defence. 
Haidar's scheme was to lay waste all the country 
from the Pulicat Lake down to Pondicherry for a 
considerable distance inland, thus isolating Fort 
St. George, and preventing any aid coming from 
the north and west, while he anticipated co-operation 
himself from the French on the coast-line. 

Alarmed at the danger which threatened them, the 
Madras Government directed Colonel Harper, then in 
command of the Guntiir detachment, to proceed at once 
southward. Colonel Braithwaite was also ordered to 
move from Pondicherry on Madras by way of Chin- 
galpat, and a force from Trichinopoli was instructed to 
intercept the communications of the enemy through 
the passes leading to the Baramahals. As no confidence 
could be placed in Muhammad All, detachments were 
despatched to occupy the forts of Wodiarpaliam, Jinji, 
Karnatikgarh, and Wandiwash, then held by his 
troops. The first of these expeditions was for a time 
successful, and Lieutenant Flint with great address 
secured possession of the fortress of' Wandiwash, 
which he continued to hold for six months with skill 
and resolution. The other two enterprises proved 

Haidar, having descended through the Baramahals 
and the Changama Pass, detached a force under his 
son Karim to attack Porto Novo, south of Pondi- 
cherry. He himself proceeded to invest Arcot, but 


hearing of the movement of the British troops 
under Sir Hector Munro, he abandoned the siege on 
August 29. On the same day the Madras Commander- 
in-Chief reached Conjevaram, which he found de- 
nuded of supplies, and there awaited the arrival of 
the Guntur force, commanded by Colonel Baillie. 
This officer reached the Cortelar on August 25, en- 
camping by mistake on the left bank instead of the 
right ; and a sudden fall of rain coming on, the river 
became so swollen that his crossing was impeded till 
September 4. On the 6th, Haidar despatched Tipu 
with the flower of his army to cut off the detachment 
on its way to Perambakam, while he remained himself 
near Conjevaram watching Sir Hector Munro. Tipu's 
attacks were, however, bravely repulsed by Baillie' s 
handful of troops, and on the 9th a force under 
Colonel Fletcher, numbering 1,000 men, which had 
been detached by Munro from the main army, suc- 
ceeded, fortunately without interruption from the 
enemy, in joining him. 

The same night Baillie left Perambakam on his way 
to Conjevaram. He had not proceeded far before the 
enemy's guns opened on his rear. An attempt was 
made to seize these guns, but the flooded state of the 
ground, which was intersected by ditches, offered 
a serious impediment. The difficulty was overcome, 
however, and the enemy's artillery silenced, when 
Colonel Baillie, contrary to the advice of Colonel 
Fletcher, determined to halt for the rest of the night, 
instead of continuing his march to join Munro, then 


only nine miles off. This delay enabled Tipu to re- 
move his guns to a strong post by which the English 
had to pass, while Haidar was not slow to take 
advantage of so favourable an opportunity. 

On September ^ o, the force of 3,700 men commenced 
their march, but had not proceeded more than two 
miles when six guns opened on their rear, and large 
bodies of Haidar's cavalry appeared on their flanks. It 
was evident that Haidar's whole army was upon them. 
A detachment of ten companies of Grenadiers under 
Captains Rumley and Gowdie gallantly stormed and 
took four of Tipii's guns, but the rapid approach of 
an immense body of horse, which Haidar had pushed 
forward to prevent their rejoining the English force, 
caused great confusion among the Sepoys. Haidar 
now brought his guns into action, while his numerous 
cavalry, supported by his infantry, and led by his 
ablest officers, bore down upon the small English 
army, without, however, making much impression, so 
gallant was the resistance. Haidar was discouraged, 
and inclined to retreat, but the inadvisability of such 
a course was strongly pressed upon him by M. Lally, 
who pointed to the probable appearance of Munro on 
the field. In the meanwhile Tipu had collected his 
troops together and renewed his cannonade, his guns, 
with those of Haidar, numbering more than fifty. Two 
of the English tumbrels were blown up, and their 
ammunition falling short, Baillie could only reply 
with grape. While they were in this condition, 
Haidar charged with the main body of his cavalry, 


and his infantry poured in volleys with great effect. 
Baillie, though badly wounded, rallied the Europeans, 
and forming them into a square, gained an eminence, 
whence he repulsed thirteen attacks of the enemy, but 
fresh bodies of cavalry pouring in, his line was at last 
broken. The Europeans bravely maintained their re- 
putation for intrepidity, but a panic seized the Sepoys 
and Colonel Baillie was compelled to ask for quarter. 
His flag of truce was, however, disregarded, as some 
of our native troops still kept up an irregular fire, and 
when the order to lay down arms was given, the enemy 
rushed in and slaughtered deliberately all whom they 
encountered. Had it not been for the humane inter- 
position of Lally and a French officer named Pimorin, 
it is probable that not a man would have escaped. 
Even as it was, 700 Europeans were killed l . Haidar is 
said to have sat in state after the battle to distribute 
rewards for the production of prisoners, and to enjoy 
the sight of the heads of the slain. Of those who were 
captured none were released ; some of them died, and 
others were put to death. This disaster was the most 
fatal that had ever overtaken the British arms in 
India, and was commemorated at Seringapatam by an 
elaborate painting on the walls of the Darya Daulat 
Garden, where it is still to be seen. 

1 French authorities allege that 2,000 English were taken 
prisoners with Baillie, and 5,000 Sepoys killed, together with the 
700 Europeans mentioned above. Among the captives was the 
gallant Baird (afterwards Sir David Baird), who remained in 
confinement more than three years. There is a story that his 
mother, knowing his intractable temper, remarked that ' she pitied 
the man who was chained to our Davie.' 


It was a fortunate thing that British interests in 
India had at this time been confided to Warren 
Hastings, and that his master spirit controlled their 
destiny. The penetration of this great statesman 
had foreseen the emergency which had arisen, and 
the vigorous steps which it was essential to take 
to restore the reputation and prestige of the British 

Sir Eyre Coote, whose distinguished services in 1757 
had gained him a high reputation, and whose brilliant 
career subsequently, when opposed to the French in 
Southern India two years later, had added greatly to 
his fame, and won for him the attachment of the native 
troops under him, was now commanding in Bengal. 
He was nearly sixty years old, and no longer possessed 
his former bodily strength. But his mental faculties 
were unimpaired, and Hastings perceived at once that 
his great military experience would be invaluable in 
the crisis which had arisen. At the request of the 
Governor-General, Sir Eyre Coote proceeded to Madras, 
where he arrived early in November, being entrusted 
with full powers to prosecute the war. Meanwhile, 
Haidar, after Baillie's defeat, had recommenced the 
siege of Arcot, and aided by the skill of the French 
engineers in his service, who effected two breaches in 
the walls, took the fort by assault after a severe con- 
flict, in which Tipii's column suffered heavily. He was 
less successful, however, in his attempts to reduce the 
other forts of the English. All of them held out, except 
Ambur, and Sir Eyre Coote having relieved Chingal- 


pat and occupied Karangiili, proceeded to the assist- 
ance of Lieutenant Flint, who still maintained his 
position at Wandiwash, notwithstanding repeated 
attempts on the part of Haidar to dislodge him. 
Coote's advance was opportune, as Flint's supply of 
ammunition was exhausted. The enemy lost heart 
and abandoned the siege, Coote having the satisfaction 
of knowing that he had raised a second time the siege 
of a place which he had relieved twenty-one years 

The sudden appearance of a French fleet off Madras 
made it impossible for him to receive supplies by 
sea, or to move to the north, so after relieving Penna- 
koil, he moved towards Pondicherry with the object 
of preventing the French boats from landing, and also 
of obtaining provisions. In this he was unsuccessful. 
He then determined on proceeding to Gudalur (Cudda- 
lore), which place he reached, after having been 
greatly harassed by Haidar's troops, who hovered 
about him, without affording any chance of a general 
action. Here he was compelled to remain inactive for 
four months, owing to lack of supplies. He next 
marched to attack the fortified pagoda of Chilambram 
(Chedambram) near Porto Novo, but was repulsed by 
the brave resistance of the garrison, whose numbers 
were much greater than he was led to expect. A few 
days afterwards the English fleet, under Sir Edward 
Hughes, arrived from Madras, when preparations were 
made for a joint attack on Chilambram. But Haidar, 
who had heard of the previous siege, made a forced 


march of a hundred miles in two days and a half, and 
with his whole army took up a strong position between 
the British troops and Gudalur. 

On July i, Coote, having abandoned the siege and 
embarked his munitions of war, advanced to encounter 
the enemy, hoping to dislodge them from the ground 
they had taken up, and to force on a general action. 
Forming his troops into column, with a strong 
baggage-guard between his right and the sea, he 
moved on rapidly, keeping to the east of a ridge of 
sandhills which intervened between him and Haidar's 
force. His first line at length reached an opening in the 
ridge, which he penetrated, after clearing it of the party 
that held it, and deployed again in order of battle 
with his front to the west. He then awaited, under 
a heavy fire, the arrival of his second line, which, not- 
withstanding repeated assaults of Haidar's cavalry 
aided by guns, steadily advanced and occupied 
a prominent sandhill near the Pass. Haidar, enraged 
at the gallant resistance offered by Coote's second 
line, directed a desperate charge of all his cavalry on 
both the lines of the little English force. This 
attack was bravely repelled, and the loss inflicted by 
the grape of the defenders was so heavy that Haidar 
was induced to withdraw, first his guns, and then all 
his troops, while Coote, when his two lines were 
united, moved on and took up a position at Muti- 
paliam, near Porto Novo. Haidar left the scene of 
battle with great reluctance, and was indeed nearly 
captured. He is said to have lost 10,000 men 


in killed and wounded. The British loss was 
trifling 1 . 

This success enabled Coote to effect a junction with 
a force then on its way from Bengal by the Pulicat 
Lake, while his onward move compelled Tipii to raise 
the siege of Wandiwash, which he had invested. 
Thus reinforced, Coote captured the fortress of 
Tirupasur, before Haidar could reach the place to 
relieve it, and having procured a small supply of rice, 
he marched to encounter that chief on the very ground 
which had witnessed in the previous year the disaster 
that befell Colonel Eaillie. To Haidar that disaster 
seemed a prognostic of victory. On August 27, Coote's 
advanced guard reached the spot, and finding the 
enemy in force in front of them, orders were given 
to occupy a small thick grove on an eminence, sur- 
rounded by a water-course. The first line of his troops 
was promptly drawn up to confront the main body of 
the enemy, the second line being directed to support 
it, as well as the detachment holding the grove 
referred to. The enemy, however, poured in a heavy 
fire against this position, while the village of Pollilur 
was occupied by them in strength, and the heavy 
jungle and water-courses which intervened prevented 
any combined action. After long delay, a brigade of our 
first line succeeded in seizing the village and in turning 

1 Haidar's army on this occasion is said to have consisted of 
620 Europeans, 1,100 Topassis or half-castes, 40,000 cavalry, 18,400 
infantry, with forty-seven guns, besides immense numbers of 
irregulars, and levies of various tributary chiefs. 


the enemy's left. A similar movement of our second 
line forced their right, and enabled the English troops 
to gain a rising ground from which they brought 
their guns to bear on their opponents, and compelled 
them to retreat. The losses on either side were not 
great, nor was any material advantage gained by 
either of the combatants. 

Coote, despairing of obtaining any decisive success, 
proceeded to Madras, with the object of resigning his 
command, but was induced by Lord Macartney, the 
Governor, to resume it for the purpose of relieving 
Vellore 1 , which was hemmed in by Haidar's army, 
then encamped near Sholingarh. He accordingly re- 
joined the British force, and after capturing Polur on 
the way, proceeded to reconnoitre Haidar's position. 
Vellore was in the last straits, its siege having been 
vigorously prosecuted under the skilful supervision of 
French engineers, and, owing to failing supplies, its 
surrender was imminent. Haidar was not prepared 
however for an immediate attack, as he had sent out 
his cattle to graze at a distance from his camp, and 
was acting merely on the defensive. When apprised 
of the rapid advance of Coote's force, he at once 
recalled the cattle and their drivers, and getting his 
guns into position, opened a heavy cannonade on the 

1 The Vellore fort is of irregular shape, with massive granite walls, 
the upper parapets being lined with brickwork with embrasures at 
certain intervals. The main rampart had round towers and rect- 
angular projections, while beneath was a fausse-braye and a broad 
ditch. There is a famous temple inside, called the Kaliani Maiitapum. 
adorned with splendid sculptures and a delicately carved roof. 



leading English brigades. His guns, however, were 
ill served, and although his cavalry made determined 
charges on the first line of the English, they were met 
with a severe cross-fire, which thinned his ranks and 
compelled his retreat. In this, his troops suffered 
great loss from the fire of the rear rank of the English 
line, which faced about for the purpose. The second 
English line, after a severe struggle, in which it was 
at one time nearly overwhelmed by Haidar's cavalry, 
was also successful in repelling the enemy, and the 
Mysore troops were at last reluctantly obliged to 
relinquish the contest. The engagement cannot, how- 
ever, be said to have been in any way decisive, although 
Haidar's loss is alleged to have exceeded 5,000 men. 

In order to procure supplies for the starving garrison 
of Vellore, Coote made an expedition into the territories 
of the petty chiefs of the Chittur district north of 
Vellore. Eut as Haidar had recently ravaged the 
country, owing to its defection from his cause, the 
relief derived from this source only amounted to 
provisions for six weeks, which Coote succeeded in 
throwing into the besieged fortress. Shortly after- 
wards he returned with his army to Madras. At 
the urgent request of the Government, instead of 
embarking for Bengal as he had at first intended, he 
remained at Fort St. George, and himself accompanied 
the troops which were despatched to succour the 
Vellore garrison. Though stricken down with illness, 
the veteran soldier accomplished the task, and having 
thrown in a store of provisions for three months, 


retraced his steps to Tirupasur, notwithstanding 
a resolute attempt on the part of Haidar to bar his 

One other event of importance in this stage of the 
hostilities between Haidar and the English took place 
at this time. Lord Macartney, the recently appointed 
Governor of Madras, had received orders from home 
directing him to take active measures against the 
Dutch, then in arms against the English. Haidar, 
anxious to secure the co-operation of the Dutch, 
entered into a defensive treaty with the Governor of 
Negapatam, by which, in return for his aid, he 
agreed to make over to him the English district of 
Nagur. This design was frustrated by Colonel 
Braithwaite, then commanding a field force at Tanjore, 
who not only drove Haidar's troops out of the town 
of Nagur, but took by storm Negapatam itself. The 
occupation of this place led to the evacuation for 
the time by Haidar of the Tanjore territory, and 
of the minor posts held by him below the Ghats. The 
effect of the success however was not of long duration, 
for in February 1782, Tipii, at the head of a large force, 
in which were 400 Europeans, signally defeated 
Colonel Braithwaite who was taken prisoner. The 
engagement lasted during three days, and was decided 
by the gallantry of M. Lally, who led his French 
soldiers gallantly on, and made a desperate charge 
with the bayonet against the English square. The 
Mysore cavalry rushed in upon the broken square and 
destroyed the little English force. 

G 2 


Haidar had fully anticipated that the Nizam would 
carry out his undertaking to subdue the Sarkars, that 
is, Masulipatam, Rajamandri, and other districts on 
the eastern coast. Niz&m All, however, suffered 
Haidar to bear the whole brunt of the war, and 
never moved a man. The explanation of this is that 
Hastings, as soon as he discovered the intention of 
the Madras Government to make over Guntiir to 
Muhammad Ali, disavowed the transaction, and 
ordered the immediate restitution of the district, 
a measure which disarmed the hostility of the Nizam, 
who moreover feared that the Mughal Emperor had 
secretly promised to confer on Haidar the Vice- 
royalty of the Deccan. Nor had Hastings been less 
successful in detaching the Marathas from the hostile 
combination. The Regent of Nagpiir, named Miidaji, 
had been induced to permit British troops to march 
through his territory, while Mahdaji Sindhia, sur- 
prised by Colonel Carnac in the Gwalior territory, 
had consented to effect a peace between the Marathas 
and the English. This convention, called the treaty 
of Salbai, was concluded on May 17, ijftz 1 . Although 
little favourable to the E. I. Company, inasmuch 
as they sacrificed by it much territory, and promised 
to abandon the cause of the usurper Raghuba, it 
was so far nominally advantageous that it provided 
for the restoration by Haidar of all the conquests 
he had made from the English and the Nawab 
of Arcot. The execution of this part of the treaty 
1 It was finally ratified after Haidar's death. 


was impracticable, but it had the effect of severing 
the coalition between the Marathas and Haidar, who 
thus stood alone against the English. 

Haidar, although deserted by his native allies, un- 
supported by the French, and threatened by rebellion 
in his western possessions, was not a man to abandon 
himself to despair. He had not indeed achieved his 
main object of driving the English out of Southern 
India. But he had overrun large tracts of their country, 
occupied most of their principal forts, and fought 
steadily and with success against his antagonists. 
What he himself thought of the struggle is thus 
recorded by Wilks, as forming a topic of conversation 
with his finance minister, Purnaiya : 

' I have committed a great error. I have purchased a 
draught of sendhi (an intoxicating drink) at the price of a 
lac of pagodas. Between me and the English there were 
grounds for mutual dissatisfaction, but no sufficient cause 
for war, and I might have made them my friends in spite 
of Muhammad Ali, the most treacherous of men. The defeat 
of many Baillies and Braithwaites will not destroy them. 
I can ruin their resources by land, but I cannot dry up the 
tea. I ought to have reflected that no man of common 
sense will trust a Maratha, and that they themselves do not 
expect to be trusted l . I have been amused by idle expecta- 
tions of a French force from Europe ; but, supposing it to 
arrive and to be successful here, I must go alone against the 

1 The Marathas, like the Afghans, were generally distrusted in 
India. There is a well-known anecdote regarding the Duke of 
Wellington having driven the Gokhla chief in an open carriage, 
unattended, to the Maratha camp. His agent expressed astonish- 
ment at this temerity, and being asked to explain, replied, ' You 
know, after all, we are only Marathas.' 


MarathSs, and incur the reproach of the French for distrust- 
ing them ; for I dare not admit them in force into Mysore.' 

Haidar, having despatched troops to re-establish 
his authority in Malabar, Coorg, and the adjoining 
district of Balam (Manjarabdd), was about to leave 
the low country himself, when he received news of 
the landing at Porto Novo of the French troops whom 
he had long expected. Unfortunately for him, the 
convoys bearing this succour had on two occasions 
been intercepted and captured by British men-of- 
war, so that the number of soldiers actually landed 
was but small, while Haidar's own army was much 
reduced by the expeditions to the west coast. Several 
actions took place between the rival English and 
French fleets, without any decisive results. The French 
troops, after landing, occupied Giidalur (Cuddalore)and 
Permakoil, but their numbers did not exceed 1,200 
Europeans, and M. de Bussy was unwilling to hazard 
a general action till he could arrive himself with 
further reinforcements. Nor was Coote desirous to 
risk a contest at a distance from his own resources, 
and on ground which the enemy occupied in force. 

Hearing of the capitulation of Permakoil, however, 
he advanced towards Wandiwash, whence the enemy 
retired towards Pondicherry. Finding-, for the reasons 
above given, that they were not prepared imme- 
diately to encounter him, Coote determined to pro- 
ceed to Arni, which from its central position was the 
chief depot which Haidar still held below the Ghats 
for storing his supplies and ammunition. Coote 


calculated that a move on this place, which was 
slightly garrisoned, would have the effect of drawing 
out the enemy from their strong position at Kellinur, 
near Pondicherry, and would at the same time facili- 
tate his procuring supplies for his own force. He 
accordingly marched in that direction, but Haidar 
being advised of his advance, detached Tipii with 
a strong reinforcement to strengthen Arni, following 
himself the next day. On June 2, 1782, when Coote 
was about to encamp near the fort, he was attacked 
by Tipii and M. Lally. The latter lost a gun in the 
action which ensued, but Coote's hope of surpris- 
ing the garrison failed. Although he advanced to 
attack Haidar, that chief by his rapid movements 
evaded all the attempts of the English commander 
to come to close quarters, and by an ingenious ambus- 
cade decoyed the British mainguard into a position 
where they were charged by masses of the Mysore 
cavalry and suffered heavy loss. This was the last 
engagement in which Coote and Haidar encountered 
one another, and both of them died within a year. 

In the month of August a force was despatched by 
the Bombay Government to invade Malabar. Colonel 
Humberstone. the commanding officer, having seized 
Calicut, advanced towards Palghatcherri, capturing 
several small forts on the way. In the meanwhile 
Tipii, who had been ordered by his father to proceed 
at once to oppose the English, marched with great 
rapidity from the eastern provinces, and, reaching 
Malabar in October, endeavoured to cut off their 

104 HA WAR A LI 

communications with the coast. The English force 
retreated to Ponani (Panniani), forty miles south of 
Calicut, where, throwing up redoubts, and protected 
by two British men-of-war, they awaited the assault 
of Tipu's army, which is said to have consisted of 
8,000 infantry, 1 0,000 cavalry, besides irregulars, 
including 600 Europeans among the troops. The 
English commander is stated to have had 800 Euro- 
peans, 1,000 Sepoys, and a contingent of 1,200 
Travancore soldiers. Tipu, after a distant cannonade 
of some days, made a vigorous attack in four columns. 
One of these was headed by M. Lally, but was 
compelled to retreat, and cross the Panniani river. 
There Tipu remained inactive for some days, when 
his whole army suddenly marched to the eastward, 
on the receipt of disastrous information from his 
father's camp. 

The monsoon, coming on a short time after the 
contest at Arni, had compelled all the combatants in 
Coromandel to cease hostilities for a time. The English 
force returned to Madras, while the French retired 
to Cuddalore, and Haidar encamped with his troops 
sixteen miles north of Arcot. He had for a long 
time suffered from a cancer in his back, and the 
disease was aggravated by the fatigue incurred in 
his numerous campaigns. The skill of his medical 
advisers proved of no avail, and he died in his camp 
at Narsingh Rayanape't, near Chittiir, on Dec. 7, 1782, 
or Hijri 1195 l . 

1 By the process called abjad (that is, a, b, j, d), in which every 


letter has a numerical value, it is customary to record in India the 
decease of celebrated men by such a combination of letters as will 
give their name, or character, or the manner of their death, while 
showing at the same time the date of the occurrence. The most 
felicitous of these compositions which I have met with are the 
following, in Persian : 

' Hamdyun az bam uftdd,' i. e. ' Hamayun fell from the roof,' the 
numerical value of these letters, when added up, being Hijri 962/63, 
the year of his death, which was caused by a fall from his palace. 

' Jahdngir az jahdn raft,' i.e. ' Jahangir left the world,' making 
Hijri 1036 the year of his decease. 

In the case of Haidar, a veiy singular result was obtained, as 
shown below. 

(Arabic letter) H = 8 

ai = 10 

da = 4 

r = 200 

(Arabic am) A = 70 
1 = 3 o 
i = 10 

(Arabic guttural) Kh = 600 

a = i 

n - 5 

ba = a 

h = 5 

a = i 

du = 4 

r = 200 

Total 1195 being the Hijri year of 

Haidar's death. 

The following verse on his tomb brings in this remarkable com- 
bination of letters : 

' Kih in Shah asudah ra chist nam ? 
Chih trikh rahalat namudah ast u? 
Yaki z'an miyan guft tarikh wa nam 
Kih "Haidar Ali Khan Bahadur" bigu.' 
' What is the name of this lamented sovereign ? 
What is the date shown of his departure (decease) ? 
One from among them (the bystanders) told the date and name 
Say " Haidar Ali Khan Bahadur." ' 


BEFORE narrating the circumstances which followed 
Haidar's demise, and the course of events during the 
reign of his son Tipii Sultan, it may be appropriate 
to refer to the character, public and private, of the 
distinguished soldier who from obscurity raised him- 
self to a throne, and made his name a terror to his 
foes. As regards the memorable warlike operations 
in which he took a leading part, the accounts derived 
from English and French sources are so conflicting, 
owing to the rivalry of these nations, and their 
struggles for supremacy, that an absolutely impartial 
estimate of his military reputation is well-nigh im- 
possible. It may safely be asserted, however, that 
in their dealings with the natives of India at this 
period the French were more sympathetic than their 
hereditary enemies, the English. Although the French 
did not, like the Portuguese, lose their nationality 
by too intimate social relations with the people of 
the country, their attitude to them was more genial 
and attractive than that of the English, whose 
national temperament, although compelling respect, 
and, as in the case of Clive, unbounded military 


devotion, did not inspire affection. It was for this 
reason probably that Haidar, when first mounting 
the ladder of his future success, was inclined to seek 
the support of the French ; and, throughout his 
struggles with the English, they were found in numbers 
in his army, and gallantly assisting him in his vari- 
ous enterprises. It must be remembered, too, that 
the name of Dupleix was still a rallying war-cry to 
those who were opposed to English ascendancy, and 
that the issue of events was so uncertain that no one 
could foresee which of the two rival European powers 
would ultimately become the master of Southern 

Haidar was a born soldier, an excellent rider, and 
skilful alike with his sword and his gun. Trained 
by early habits to active exertion, he could undergo 
great fatigue without suffering from it, and when at 
the head of his troops, he was reckless of personal 
danger, thus stimulating the courage of his followers. 
Cool and sagacious in war-time, he excelled in cavalry 
tactics, and seemed to possess by intuition the know- 
ledge how to launch his horsemen with the greatest 
effect on the enemy. It may be doubted, however, 
whether in an open field he was able to cope with the 
Maratha hordes, while, having no acquaintance with 
practical engineering, he had to rely in the sieges 
which he undertook on the ability and skill of the 
French officers in his service. Perhaps his most 
remarkable characteristic was the celerity with which 
he made forced marches on various occasions, always 


with a successful result, feats which could only have 
been performed by a man who was both hardy and 
daring. The celebrity of his name, and the rich 
opportunities for plunder which his numerous expe- 
ditions offered, attracted to his standard vast numbers 
of recruits, who, although he was niggardly in his 
payments, were firmly attached to him and fought 
gallantly under his orders. To the French who were 
in his service he appears to have been generally con- 
siderate, and to have placed great reliance on their 
fidelity and the bravery of their officers. 

As regards his administrative capacity, it may be 
said that, owing to his being constantly engaged in 
war, and therefore absent from his capital, he was 
necessarily compelled to confide much to subordinate 
agents ; and although his experience of Brahmans, 
based on the treachery of his early ally Khande Rao, 
was unfavourable on the whole, he had no option but 
to entrust this capable, though not always trustworthy 
caste, with most of the details of revenue manage- 
ment. Haidar's remedy for neglect of duty and for 
egregious plundering, to the detriment either of the 
peasantry or the treasury, was the scourge, which 
he applied freely, often perhaps justly, but always 
with severity. It may be said that the ' Korla,' 
a whip with a very long lash, reigned supreme, 
floggings being of daily occurrence, as related by the 
missionary Schwartz, and few officials appear to 
have escajped the infliction, which is not extraordinary 
when one considers that Haidar did not hesitate to 


apply the discipline to his own son. Nevertheless, 
although his training had been defective, and his 
policy often dictated severe punishments, it does not 
seem that he was wantonly brutal, or that he took a 
pleasure in torturing his prisoners. Sad tales might 
indeed be told of many of his English captives, who 
were half-starved, and sometimes forcibly circumcised l ; 
but the manners of the time were savage, every man's 
hand being against his neighbour, while the English 
soldier was regarded by the natives as a ferocious 
beast who could only be subdued by main force. 

He had no compunction in devastating whole tracts 
of his own country in order to prevent an enemy 
from subsisting his troops on local supplies, nor did 
he evince any compassion for the conquered, or show 
liberality to the distressed. His every action was 
regulated by a cold calculating temperament, but he 
rewarded handsomely those who served him well, and 
thus secured their attachment. In marked contrast 
to his successor, he was entirely free from bigotry, 

1 There is a curious little book, published in 1824, which relates 
the captivity of one James Scurry, who, having been taken prisoner 
by the French, was, with several others, handed over by the French 
admiral Suffrein at Gudalur to Haidar, by whose orders the party, 
which comprised fifteen youths, was sent to Seringapatam, where, 
having been previously drugged, they were all circumcised. His 
statement is confirmed by James Bristow, an artilleryman, who, 
when a prisoner, was compelled to undergo the same rite. This 
individual, after an imprisonment of nearly ten years, escaped 
from the hill fort of Hutridrug, suffering terrible privations till he 
reached an English camp near Kopal. He speaks in terms of grati- 
tude of the kindness of some Mysore women who supplied him with 
food on his perilous journey. He published a narrative in 1794. 

110 HA WAR ALf 

being indeed wholly indifferent to religious senti- 
ments, and he cared not one jot what faith his officials 
followed, so long as they obeyed his behests. 

In person he is described as of medium height 
with rather coarse features, which were embrowned 
by the sun ; his nose small but aquiline, his eyes 
also small, and the lower lip thick. Contrary to the 
custom of most Orientals, and especially of Musal- 
mans, he had neither beard nor whiskers. Although 
not addicted to wearing jewellery, he was not 
devoid of vanity in dress, the body and sleeves of his 
habit fitting neatly, and being drawn close by strings, 
while the rest of his robe was ample and hung in 
folds. His turban was of brilliant scarlet, flat at 
the top, and of immense length. When with the 
army, he wore a uniform of white satin with gold 
flowers, faced with yellow, drawers of the same 
material, and boots of yellow velvet, with a scarf 
of white silk round his waist. 

He is said to have been very accessible to all and 
to have conversed with great readiness. In close inter- 
course with his boon-companions he did not hesitate 
to make use of the foulest abuse. In matters of 
business his shrewdness and capacity were remark- 
able, and he had the faculty of giving his attention 
to several subjects at the same time, so that he could 
hear a letter read, dictate orders, and witness a 
theatrical exhibition all at once, without being dis- 
tracted by any one of these occupations. Although 
he was unable to read or write, the answer to every 


document of importance was read over to him by a 
second person after it had been written by one of his 
scribes, thus ensuring absolute accuracy, after which 
he scrawled his signature 1 . All State business was 
transacted under his own eyes with regularity and 
despatch, his retentive memory enabling him to 
supervise closely everything that was done by his 
subordinates. The evenings were enlivened by 
comedies, and the performances of trained groups of 
dancing girls, and not unfrequently ended in a de- 
bauch with some chosen friends. He had an extensive 
harem, and did not scruple to seize and place in it 
any girl who possessed superior attractions ; but he 
never allowed his sensuality to incapacitate him from 
attention to his public duties, while great allowances 
must be made for him, considering the time in 
which he lived, and the license which results from 
protracted warfare. 

On great occasions he made a magnificent show 
with his chosen troops. His regiments of cavalry, in 
which were many Europeans, headed his procession ; 
then followed 500 warriors mounted on camels ; after 
which came the state elephants with richly em- 
broidered trappings; then two regiments of Abys- 
sinian horse, wearing plumes of red and black ostrich 

1 The writer possesses a Maratha grant issued by him, in which 
the signature is simply the Arabic letter ' h ' for Haidar, twice 
repeated, in an inverted form, thus f}) for -. Very few Indian 
princes at this time wrote their names at the end of their com- 
munications, the official seal at the head of such documents being 
confirmed by an impression of the signet-ring, which was rarely 
taken off the chiefs finger. 


feathers, and carrying steel-headed lances ; followed 
by infantry wearing large silk scarves with drawers 
reaching to the thigh, and armed with lances to 
which small bells were attached. Next came the no- 
bility, gorgeously arrayed, covered with chain-armour, 
and splendidly mounted. Then came the Nawab's 
own horses, richly decorated, and led by grooms. 
To these succeeded a troop of running footmen, and 
then the principal officers of the household, with 
chains of gold hanging down their breasts. Lastly, 
at the end of the procession came Haidar himself, 
mounted on a white elephant : which was captured in 
the Bednur country. The rear consisted of a large 
number of elephants, five of which carried special 
royal insignia 2 , and after them two more regiments of 
Abyssinian cavalry, and a crowd of foot-soldiers of the 
same nation, who closed the procession. On each side 
of the line of march moved a body of infantry clothed 
in white silk with long black lances, plated with 
silver, and adorned with small red streamers at the 
tips. The whole made up a gallant array, which 
could only be surpassed by that of the Great Mughal 

Haidar certainly failed in accomplishing the object 

1 The so-called white elephants, which were so highly esteemed 
by the sovereigns of Burma and Siam, were not really white, but of 
a dirty red-brick colour, as was probably that of Haidar. 

2 The first carried a mosque of gold ; the second the ' Mahi 
maratib,' or the fish-emblem, usually granted by the Mughals ; the 
third a flambeau of white wax in a gold casing ; the fourth two 
golden pots, called chambu ; and the fifth a round chair, inlaid with 
ivory, and covered with gold. 


he had in view at the close of his long and stormy 
career. But his want of success was mainly due to the 
duplicity of his native allies, and to the supineness 
of the French Government, which reserved all its 
strength for its operations against us in North 
America, and seemed quite indifferent to recovering 
the prestige it had lost in India. Had it despatched 
a sufficient army to the Coromandel coast when 
Haidar was operating against the Madras forces, 
there can be little doubt that Fort St. George would 
have fallen, and that the British authority would 
have been supplanted by the French flag. De Bussy 
arrived too late, and with Haidar's death, and the 
success of Hastings' diplomacy, commenced the final 
decline of French influence in India. 

Whatever defects may be justly attributed to 
Haidar as a ruler, or in his private life, he was 
a bold, an original, and an enterprising commander, 
skilful in tactics and fertile in resources, full of 
energy, and never desponding in defeat. For an 
Oriental he was singularly faithful to his engage- 
ments, and straightforward in his policy towards the 
British. Notwithstanding the severity of his internal 
rule, and the terror which he inspired, his name is 
always mentioned in Mysore with respect, if not with 
admiration. While the cruelties which he sometimes 
practised are forgotten, his prowess and success have 
an abiding place in the memory of the people. 


H a 




SULTAN, on the death of his father, now 
assumed the sovereignty of Mysore. Born in 1753 
at Devanhalli, the place where Haidar first dis- 
tinguished himself, he was named after a Musalman 
devotee at Arcot, for whom Haidar had a special 
veneration. His mother, Fakhr-un-Nissa, was a 
daughter of Mir Moin-ud-din, for some years Governor 
of Kadapa. When the time of her delivery was nigh, 
it is said that she paid a visit to the shrine of the 
holy man, to obtain a blessing, and gave her child 
the name which he afterwards bore l . 

1 There has been much discussion both as to the etymology and 
the meaning of the word Tipii. In the inscription on his tomb 
the name is written Tipti, and it is often so pronounced in Mysore, 
but on his seal it is unmistakably Tipii, which mode of spelling 
the name has been adopted in this sketch . As regards the mean- 
ing of the word, although it has been asserted that Tipu is the 
Kanarese for a tiger, this is certainly erroneous. Independently 
of the improbability of a holy man, such as Tipti Mastan Auliah, 
after whom Tipii was named, being called by the designation of a 


When it became apparent that Haidar's end was 
approaching, hia ministers, Piirnaiya and Krishna 
Rdo, took every precaution to conceal the gravity of 
his malady from the army. Immediately after his 
death, express messengers on fleet camels were de- 
spatched to apprise Tipu of the event, and to urge 
.his return with all speed, while Haidar's body, having 
been embalmed, was forwarded privately to Kolar in 
a coffin resembling a chest containing valuable spoil. 
Matters were so well arranged that the secret of his 
demise was kept for many days, not only from the 
English, but from his own army, only the most trusty 
officers being made acquainted with the occurrence. 
The troops marched westward, Haidar's closed palan- 
keen being carried with the army as if containing 
an invalid. If any suspicion were aroused by his 
not showing himself, no open demonstration of in- 
credulity took place. 

Meanwhile Tipu, who received intelligence of his 
father's death in the short space of four days, 
broke up his camp near Panniani, and proceeded 
by forced marches towards the main army, which 
had halted on the Pennar river awaiting his arrival 
and the junction of French troops. His appearance 
in the camp was hailed with joy, and he at once 
assumed the control of affairs, having at his disposal 

ferocious beast, the word for a tiger in Kanarese is ' huli.' How 
the mistake arose is shown at the end of this sketch. Tipii Mastan 
Auliah's tomb at Arcot bears the date 1142 Hijri, or 1729 A.D., and 
was erected by Nawb SaaMat Ullah Kha"n, who died in 1732. 


at least 90,000 troops, and a vast treasure hoarded at 

Had the Madras Government at this juncture 
adopted energetic measures, it is probable that the 
defeat of the Mysore army would have ensued. But 
the veteran Sir Eyre Coote had been compelled by 
ill health to resign his command, and the Madras 
authorities, though aware of Haidar's death and of 
the difficulty which had arisen owing to the want of 
a leader for his troops, allowed a month to elapse 
before they ordered a force to the front to engage the 



WHEN the Bombay Government heard that Colonel 
Humberstone was threatened in Malabar by Tipii's 
army, they despatched General Matthews with a small 
force to relieve him from his precarious position, and 
to effect a diversion by seizing the territory held by 
Mysore on the coast. This expedition had accom- 
plished with success the reduction of Rajamandrug 
and Honawar 1 in North Kanara, taking also several of 
Haidar's ships, when intelligence of that chiefs death 
induced the Bombay authorities to send peremptory 
orders to General Matthews to seize Bednur. Having 
embarked his small force, Matthews landed at Kunda- 
pur. and in three days reached the foot of the Hosan- 

1 About twenty miles from Honawar are the celebrated Gersoppa 
Falls, on the River Sharavati, which, though of less volume than 
those of Niagara, form a sublime spectacle. The Raja Fall (one of 
four) leaps down a sheer depth of 830 feet into the abyss below, 
being met halfway down by the Roarer Fall, another tremendous 
cataract. The whole scenery is of extraordinary beauty. The 
depth of the great fall was carefully plumbed in 1856 by two 
officers of the Indian navy, who contrived to sling a cradle across 
the top of the abyss, and launching themselves in it, let down a 
line to the bottom. 


gadi Pass. The ascent from this to Haidargarh at the 
top of the ghdt, a distance of about eight miles, is 
tremendously steep, rough, and stony. Great boulders 
obstruct progress, with here and there a piece of 
slippery pavement in the worst parts of the defile. 
One gigantic rock is called the 'Ane" Jeri, 5 from 
a tradition that an elephant was thence precipitated 
over the precipice. Modern skill has made this and 
several others of the old Mysore passes practicable 
for carts. At the time referred to, although thou- 
sands of bullocks yearly traversed it, the natural 
difficulties were so great, that had it been resolutely 
defended, Matthews could not possibly have reached 
the summit. But Colonel Macleod, who had joined 
him from Panniani, had in his small detachment 
His Majesty's 42nd regiment, to whom from early 
associations hills and rocks were doubtless no serious 
obstacle. These gallant men, followed by the native 
troops, carried at the point of the bayonet one 
breastwork after another with little loss, although 
some of the batteries were armed with numerous 
guns, and defended by thousands of the enemy. 

Bednur fortress was at this time governed by 
Shekh Ayaz or Haiydt Sahib, a Nair of Malabar, 
who had been forcibly converted to Islm, and for 
whom Haidar had an extraordinary affection on 
account of his fidelity and trustworthiness. Tipu, 
however, resenting this partiality, had a personal 
dislike to him. and had sent orders to supersede him 
in his post. But before his successor, Lutf Ali Be'g, 


could reach his destination, Ayaz, distrusting his 
sovereign's intentions towards him, and despairing of 
holding his own against the English, surrendered the 
fort and town of Haidarnagar to Matthews. 

It is not clear what advantage the Bombay Govern- 
ment expected to gain by the temporary occupation 
of a district so far removed from any support, and 
in the heart of an inaccessible country. To Tipu 
it was of supreme importance to recover possession 
of it before reinforcements could be forwarded to the 
English general. He accordingly assembled a con- 
siderable army, and, dividing his troops into two 
columns, despatched one of them to cut off all 
communication with the coast, and with the other 
invested the town of Haidarnagar. In the meantime, 
Shekh Ayaz had fled with an immense treasure, and 
succeeded in making his way to Bombay. The 
English troops, being only 1,600 in number, of whom 
400 were Europeans, were totally insufficient to 
defend the extensive fortifications, erected at different 
places in the heavy jungles which surrounded the 
town. Indeed Tipu experienced little difficulty in 
forcing the positions they held, and compelling the 
garrison in the fort to surrender. He had the morti- 
fication, however, to find the treasury empty. So 
irritated was he at this unexpected result that, 
although Matthews had capitulated on condition 
that his troops should be permitted to withdraw 
unmolested to the coast, the conqueror placed him, 
with many other officers and men, in irons, and 


sent the party to Seringapatam, where it is said 
Matthews was constrained by starvation to eat 
poisoned food, of which he died 1 . It was asserted 
that Tipii was partly urged to commit this breach of 
faith owing to a detachment of Matthews' force 
having cruelly put to death the inhabitants of 
Anantpur, an outlying town in the Bedniir territory. 
But Wilks, who had ample means of ascertaining 
the real facts, declares in his history that the allega- 
tion was entirely devoid of truth. 

1 Some accounts say that he was despatched with the butt-ends 
of his guards' matchlocks. 


MANGA LORE, the principal seaport in South Kanara, 
had been captured once by an English fleet, but was 
recovered by Haidar in 1768. It again surrendered, 
however, to General Matthews, prior to his attack on 
Bedntir, the commandant declaring the post to be 
untenable. Tipu, determined to regain possession of 
the place, despatched a small force to seize it, but the 
attack was frustrated. He then resolved to besiege it 
in person with the whole of his army. Although he 
gained at the outset some slight advantages by driving 
in the outposts, and thereby causing a temporary 
panic in the ranks of the British troops, Colonel 
Campbell, the commanding officer, resolutely held the 
fort, which was ill adapted for defence, in spite of the 
vigorous attacks made upon it by the Mysore troops, 
aided by the skill of French engineers. Tipu's heavy 
guns, however, had nearly reduced the fortifications to 
ruins, and an assault was daily expected, when news 
was received of the cessation of hostilities between 
the English and French. The officers of the latter 
nation who were in the Mysore service honourably 


declined to act any longer against the English, not- 
withstanding every inducement to them on Tipu's part 
to continue the siege. They accordingly withdrew 
from the scene of operations ; and Tipu, indignant at 
the repulses he had met with in his attacks on 
a place which was avowedly weak, converted the 
siege into a blockade. The garrison, being short of 
provisions, were reduced to the greatest distress, but 
still held out bravely. Tipu agreed to a temporary 
armistice, to the terms of which, however, he did not 
adhere, his object being to starve out the defenders. 
The instructions of the English admiral forbad the 
captain commanding the squadron to resort to any 
hostile measures during the period prescribed by 
the preliminary articles of peace between the two 
European nations. The result of this inaction was 
that the defenders of Mangalore were so insufficiently 
supplied with food, that disease broke out, and the 
hospitals were filled. On a council of war being 
held, it was resolved to surrender, the brave garrison 
being permitted to retire to Tellicherri, 80 miles to 
the south, according to the terms of a treaty which 
was executed in January, 1784. By this convention 
Tipu recovered possession of all the territory held by 
his father in Kanara and Malabar. Before return- 
ing to the upper country, he signalized his zeal for 
the faith of Isldm by driving out of the coast region 
no fewer than 30,000 of its Christian inhabitants, who 
were forcibly deported into Mysore. His own account 
of this infamous transaction is that the Portuguese, 


having on pretence of trade obtained settlements on 
the western coast, had prohibited Musalmdns from 
practising their faith, and expelled Hindus from their 
territory, those who remained, in spite of the pro- 
hibition, being enrolled as Christians. He added 
that, in process of time, they won over the local 
Rajas to tolerate their proceedings, and by cajoling 
the pliant population, made numerous converts to 
their ' abandoned religion.' ' His Majesty, the shadow 
of God,' so runs his bombastic effusion, e being in- 
formed of these circumstances, the rage of Islam 
began to boil in his breast. He ordered that an 
enumeration and description of the houses of all 
Christians should be made, and then sent detach- 
ments under trusty officers who, after early prayers, 
acting in accordance with their instructions, seized 
60,000 (sic) persons, great and small of both sexes, 
who were carried to the resplendent presence. They 
were then despatched to the capital, and the males 
being formed into battalions of five hundred each, 
under the command of officers well instructed in the 
faith, were honoured with the distinction of Islam, 
and distributed in the principal garrisons.' These 
unfortunate people received the appellation of 
'Ahmadi' or 'praiseworthy,' and the date of their 
forcible conversion was commemorated by the phrase, 
' God is the protector of the religion of Ahmad V 

1 It is stated that Tipii demanded the surrender of the daughters 
of some of these Christians in order to have them placed in his 
seraglio, and that, on the refusal of the parents, the latter had their 


Similar cruelties were practised on the people of 
Coorg, the small hill district where Haidar had 
barbarously cut off the heads of all who opposed 
his progress. Some resistance having been made to 
the Mysore Governor, Tipu marched into the country 
with his army, and lectured the Coorgs on the iniquity 
of their custom of polyandry. He warned them that 
if any further rebellion took place he would extinguish 
it by removing the population and Islamizing them. 
At a later period he actually earned this barbarous 
threat into execution, devastating the province, and 
driving the wretched inhabitants like sheep to 
Seringapatam, where they had to submit to circum- 
cision and the sanctifying rites prescribed by the 

noses, ears, and upper lips cut off, and were then paraded through 
the streets on asses, with their faces towards the tails of the 


JUST before the death of Haidar, Mr. Sullivan, the 
English Resident at Tanjore, an official of exceptional 
ability, had devised a scheme for co-operating with 
Colonel Humberstone in Malabar, by sending an 
expedition to Pdlghat, via Coimbatore. But this 
plan, being opposed, or at any rate unsupported by 
Sir Eyre Coote, had fallen through. Mr. Sullivan 
now sought to forward the views of his Government 
by entering into negotiations with one Tirumal Rao, 
who professed to be an emissary of the Mysore Rani, 
with the object of restoring to power the imprisoned 
Raja. This design being approved by the British 
authorities, a force was despatched under Colonel 
Lang, which occupied various places in the Coim- 
batore and Madura districts. Colonel Fullarton 
shortly afterwards succeeded to the command. On 
learning that Admiral Suffrein was about to dis- 
embark French troops at Gudalur, he marched in 
haste to that place, but on his arrival heard of the 
cessation of hostilities between the European powers. 

Being apprised however of Tipii's violation of the 


armistice at Mangalore, Colonel Fullarton moved 
at once on Palghat from Dindigal to relieve the 
distressed garrison. He was encouraged in this 
effort by reports of disaffection among the Mysore 
troops, and of a widespread conspiracy to overthrow 
the usurper. But the latter combination, though it 
actually existed, was, fortunately for Tipu, detected, and 
all the leaders in it were summarily executed 1 , except 
two who were placed in iron cages. Fullarton, notwith- 
standing many natural obstacles, due to heavy rain, 
and the vast forest which skirts the Anamalai Hills, 
succeeded in forcing his way to Palghat, which 
surrendered to his arms. Then finding it impossible 
to advance at once to Tellicherri on the coast, he 
proceeded to Coimbatore, which he captured. Before 
however he could make any further progress, he 
received an intimation that negotiators were being 
sent to Tipu to arrange terms of peace, and he was 
directed to abstain from further hostilities. 

As his force consisted of 13,000 men, and as he 
himself was an officer of great ability and energy, it 
is probable that his junction with the British troops 
on the west coast would have led to a complete 
defeat of Tipu. But, as we have seen on previous 
occasions, the vigorous efforts of the English mili- 
tary commanders were paralyzed by the timidity 
and hesitation of the civil authorities at Madras. 
European diplomatists, with rare exceptions, are 
no match for the duplicity and craft of Orientals. 
1 Some were blown from a gun, and others impaled. 


It is not therefore surprising that, after protracted 
negotiations, in which the Madras envoys were 
subjected to much humiliation, Tipii signed in March, 
1784, a peace for the mutual restitution of the places 
which the two powers had seized, and for the sur- 
render of all prisoners, a convention by which he 
sacrificed little, and was able to boast that the 
English had cringed before him. The natural result 
was that he re-occupied all the southern part of 
Malabar, and that the fruits of Fullarton's enterprise 
were thrown away. Even as regards the hundreds 
of persons languishing in prison, and the thousands 
whom Tipti had forcibly carried away from their 
homes, he studiously evaded surrendering more than 
a very limited number. Indeed, the great majority 
of those who had suffered imprisonment had either 
perished from the hardships they endured, or had 
met with a violent death at the hands of Tipii's 
executioners. Many of the English officers, besides 
General Matthews, had been ruthlessly murdered, 
by poison or other foul means, while natives of the 
country had been frequently sent to die at Kabaldrug. 



TIPU'S next military operations were conducted 
lagainst certain chiefs in the country between the 
Krishna and the Tungabhadra. These chiefs, having 
succumbed to Haidar, had evaded paying the tribute 
due to him, knowing well that they would be 
supported in their contumacy by the Marathas, to 
which nation most of them belonged. The principal 
malcontent was the Deshai or Jagirdar of the strong 
hill fort of Nargund 1 , who, with his cousin of 
Ramdriig, a neighbouring fort, relied upon aid 
from Poona, and refused to submit to Tipii. The 
Mysore army besieged both places, the latter 
falling speedily, notwithstanding Parasu Ram Bhao's 
attempts to relieve it. Venkat Rao, the chief of 
Nargund, valiantly defended that town for some 
months, but was at last compelled to capitulate. 

1 In 1858 Bha'skar Ra"o, the Jagirdar of this State, murdered 
Mr. C. Manson, the political agent in the southern Mara"tha 
country, and for this crime was hanged, the territory being con- 
fiscated, but the Ra"mdrug portion of it had been previously severed 
from it. 

I 2 


The promise of personal safety given to him was 
however set at naught, and on his surrender he was 
sent in chains to die miserably at Kabaldriig. 

This expedition, though professedly undertaken for 
the purpose of strengthening his weak northern 
frontier, implied extraordinary self-sufficiency and 
arrogance on the part of Tipii. He should have 
known that by provoking a collision with the war- 
like hosts of the Marathas, guided by the astute 
policy of Nana Farnavis and containing such leaders 
as Mahdaji Sindhia and Tukoji Holkar, he would 
bring down upon himself a cloud of enemies. More- 
over, the peace with the English was but a hollow 
truce, and the Governor-General had shown a ten- 
dency to seek an alliance both with the Marathas 
and the Nizam. In the beginning of 1786 the two 
latter powers, having arranged all the preliminary 
conditions, despatched their conjoint forces to invade 
Mysore, the Marathas being commanded by Hari 
Panth, and the Nizam's contingent by Tuhavvar 
Jang. Tipii, who had just returned from Coorg, 
advanced to encounter them, having first assumed 
the title of King (Padshah). After ordering his 
general, Burhan-ud-din, to stay the advance of the 
allies, who had captured Badami near Nargund, he 
himself proceeded to besiege Adoni, then held by 
the Nizam's troops. Muhabbat Jang, nephew of the 
Nizam, having vainly striven to buy off Tipu, owing 
to the town being the residence of many ladies of his 
uncle's and his own family, defended it so gallantly, 


that Tipu, notwithstanding repeated assaults, was 
compelled to abandon the siege. As the rainy season 
was approaching, the Nizam's youngest brother, 
Mughal Ali Khan, by feigning to attack the Mysore 
troops, succeeded in concentrating their attention 
upon himself, thus permitting of the evacuation of 
the place and the escape of the ladies across the 
Tungabhadra, before the river filled. When Tipu 
returned to resume the siege, he found the town 
deserted, and had to content himself with razing the 

He now commenced a series of operations which 
evince much skill and enterprise on his part. Having 
seized a small fort which commanded the passage of 
the Tungabhadra, Tipu, in spite of the opinions 
of his chief officers, succeeded in crossing his army 
over the swollen river. He then marched along the 
left bank in order to effect a junction with Burhan- 
ud-din, which he accomplished without much diffi- 
culty, and proceeded to meet the enemy in the 
vicinity of Savantir. After many desultory engage- 
ments, which led to no result, he at last dislodged 
them from their position, and captured the town, 
the Nawab having previously fled to the Maratha 
camp. The siege of several minor forts was then 
successfully undertaken, when Tipu, early in 1787, 
expressed his readiness to make peace, agreeing 
to pay at once thirty lacs of rupees on account 
of tribute due, and a further sum afterwards. 
Adoni, Nargund, and other strongholds were sur~ 


rendered by him to the Marath&s. The pacific 
overtures made by him on this occasion, when he 
had obtained many successes over a formidable foe, 
can only be explained by his anticipation of renewed 
hostilities with the English. 



ON returning to Seringapatam, Tipii directed the 
entire destruction of the old town of Mysore, in 
order to obliterate all associations with the deposed 
Rajas. He next proceeded to Calicut, which offered 
him a fine field for showing his zeal for Islam by 
reforming the pestilential customs of the province. 
He at once issued a proclamation, denouncing the 
practice of polyandry 1 , and informing the people 
that if they did not desist from such a pernicious 
usage, they would all be ' honoured with Islam,' and 

1 The existence of this custom is referred to by Camoens in the 
Lusiad thus : 

'Ge"raes sao as mulheres; mas somente 
Para os da geracao de seus maridos : 
Ditosa condicao, ditosa gente, 
Que na3 sao de ciumes offendidos ! ' 

(Verse 41, Canto VII.) 
Son commune le donne in fra coloro 
Che son de la progenie de' mariti : 
Felice condition del viver loro 
Che de la gelosia non son feriti.' 

(Italian version.) 
The custom appears to have prevailed also in Coorg. 


their headmen deported to Seringapatam. With 
this object he appointed sundry religious teachers 
to supervise their domestic morals and teach the true 
faith. Local officers were also nominated to collect the 
revenue. Having, as he imagined, put the people 
in the right path, and ensured their welfare in this 
world and in that to come, he marched to Coimbatore 
and Dindigal, wasting the territories of such minor 
chiefs as had withheld their allegiance. He returned 
in triumph to his capital, where he occupied himself 
in reforming his troops, dividing them into brigades, 
according to their several tribes, sayyads in one 
battalion and shekhs in another. On leaving Malabar, 
he had made over the government to Mir Ibrahim, 
who, by his exactions and disregard of all written 
engagements, precipitated a rebellion of so serious 
a nature that Tipu, though surprised at the ill- 
success of his own benevolent measures, was com- 
pelled to proceed in person to suppress the revolt. 

Marching through Coorg with a large army, he 
sent detachments about the country to hunt down 
the rebellious Nairs, while he himself proceeded to 
Kutipuram. Here, two thousand of their race de- 
fended themselves and their families with resolution, 
but were soon obliged to surrender. This gave 
an opportunity to Tipu to show his apostolic 
zeal. Orders were issued that the whole of these 
unfortunates should be offered the alternative of 
becoming good Musalmans, or, in case of non- 
compliance, that they should be banished to Seringa- 


patam. They reluctantly acquiesced in the former 
alternative, knowing well what the deportation 
meant. The next day, accordingly, all the males 
were circumcised, while both sexes were compelled 
to eat beef, as a proof of their conversion. One 
of the principal victims of Tipii's revenge was the 
Raja of Chirakkal 1 , of ancient descent, who, having 
been falsely accused of conspiring, was attacked and 
killed, and his body hung up after his death. 
In this raid the Mysore sovereign is said to have 
carried off large treasures plundered from the temples 
in Malabar. He crowned his achievements by com- 
pelling the princess of Cannanore to marry her 
daughter to his son, Abd-ul-Khalik. 

On the conclusion of the treaty with the Madras 
Government at Mangalore in 1 7 84, Tipii, inflated with 
notions of his own prowess, and inspired with hostile 
feelings against the English, was most anxious to 
unite himself closely with the French, by whose 
assistance he hoped to subvert the power he both 
feared and hated. With this object he sent an 
embassy, which was instructed, after sounding the 
views of the Sublime Porte, to repair to France to 
secure the co-operation of that Government. But the 
reception which his envoys met with at Constan- 
tinople, where Tipii's name had probably never been 
heard of, was so unfavourable, that they returned 
in a rage. In 1787 a second embassy, headed by 

1 It is from the descendants of this house that females are 
adopted into the royal family of Travancore. 


Muhammad Darvesh Khn, was despatched direct 
to Paris, where the delegates were received most 
graciously by Louis XVI and hospitably entertained. 
Louis was himself, however, environed by domestic 
difficulties, and the cataclysm which shortly afterwards 
overwhelmed his country was rapidly approaching. 
He therefore contented himself with profuse promises 
of future support, and the ambassadors returned 
to India, discredited, to meet the wrath of their 


IT will be remembered that in 1766 Haidar Ali 
overran Malabar. Among the chiefs who then 
tendered their submission was the Raja of Cochin, 
whose territory abutted on that of the Travancore 
Raja. In 1761 the Zamorin of Calicut had invaded 
Cochin. The Raja had sought aid from his neigh- 
bour who despatched a force under General de 
Lanoy, which drove out the Zamorin, and the reward 
for this service was the cession of a tract of country 
on which fortifications were erected, extending thirty 
miles from an estuary on the coast to a range of 
inaccessible hills. A strong fort was built at Karia- 
pilli on the coast, while a wall 20 feet thick and 
12 feet high, with stone batteries and bastions at 
intervals, was constructed all along the frontier. 
It was further protected by a deep ditch, while 
bamboos and thorny shrubs were planted close to 
the wall on the side of the ditch. These defences 
were called the ' Travancore Lines,' and were intended 
to resist attacks from Malabar. Haidar, after his 


invasion of Malabar, had coveted Travancore, but 
the opposition of the Dutch at Kranganiir (Kadan- 
gulur), and his own military operations on the eastern 
coast, arrested his designs. 

Tipii was aware that the possession of Malabar 
would give him command of the western coast, thus 
facilitating the importation of munitions of war, and 
enabling him to attack the English from two sides. 
He therefore determined on its conquest. It was not 
difficult for him to find plausible pretexts for the 
attack which he meditated, partly on the ground 
that the Travancore Raja had erected the defences 
on the territory of his feudatory the Cochin chief, 
aggravating the insult by purchasing from the Dutch 
the forts of Kranganiir and Ayakota, and partly by 
reason of Travancore having afforded protection to 
rebellious fugitives from Malabar. He at first en- 
deavoured to secure the aid of the Cochin Raja 
in his designs. But that chief evaded his demands, 
and Tipii proceeded to attack the defences, regardless 
alike of the remonstrances of Travancore and the 
objections of the Madras Government, to which the 
latter State owed allegiance. 

On December 28, 1789, Tipu's army, under his 
personal command, appeared before the walls, his 
force consisting of 14,000 infantry and 500 pioneers. 
By daybreak of the 29th, his troops had gained 
an entrance and taken possession of a part of the 
ramparts to the right, the Travancore soldiers con- 
testing each post, but being compelled to retreat 


before the enemy till they were forced back upon 
a strong position where, with the aid of a small gun, 
they made a stand. Fresh troops were ordered up by 
Tipu to carry the building, and support the leading 
corps. But the movement was clumsily performed, 
and in the confusion which ensued, a small body of 
the defenders, who were posted in a thick cover close 
to the ramparts, threw in such a heavy fire' that the 
assailants were repulsed, and a panic ensued 1 . The 
whole of Tipu's army was soon in precipitate flight, 
he himself being earned away by the rush. The 
ditch was filled with the bodies of those who were 
forced on from behind and trampled under foot 
before they could extricate themselves. The bearers 
of Tipu's palankeen were among the fallen, and he 
himself escaped with the greatest difficulty, through 
the exertions of some faithful servants, but lamed in 
the efforts he had made to save himself. In the 
hurly-burly he lost his sword and shield, which were 
taken away in triumph to Trivandrum, the capital of 
Travancore. He is said to have lost no less than 
2,000 men in this miserable affair. 

Lord Cornwallis, then Governor- General, had in- 
timated to the Madras Government his readiness to 
consider impartially any claim which Tipu Sultan 
might urge against the sale to the Travancore Kaja 

1 The Sultan's panegyrist, Mir Hussen Ali Khan, ascribes this 
disaster to the Travancore troops having broken down a mound 
which had been erected to prevent the inroads of the sea, its 
destruction causing the tide to rush in, and prevent any support 
being given to the leading detachment. 


of the places above referred to. At the same time 
he pointed out the inadvisability of submission to 
untenable demands. When he learned that Tipu 
had by his rash action shown his contempt for any 
pacific overtures, he despatched on March 30, 1790, 
explicit instructions to the Madras Government not 
to allow a faithful ally to be overwhelmed by an 
insolent and cruel enemy. 

Tipu had, indeed, forwarded to Madras a lame 
explanation of his attack upon the Lines, alleging 
that his troops were merely searching for fugitives, 
and had accidentally come into collision with the 
Travancore army. But he had no intention of 
desisting from his purpose, and, smarting under the 
defeat which he had sustained, he ordered siege-guns 
to be despatched at once from Seringapatam, and 
recommenced the attack. Batteries were erected 
close to the defences in the early part of March. Yet 
although Tipu spoke with derision of the 'con- 
temptible wall/ nearly a month elapsed before the 
ramparts were destroyed. A breach being then 
effected, the Travancore troops were compelled to 
retreat, and Tipu directed the immediate demolition 
of the fortifications, sending off as spoil to his capital 
200 pieces of cannon, and a vast quantity of ammuni- 

At the time when the assault of the Lines took 
place, there were two English regiments of native 
troops at Ayakota, belonging to the Madras establish- 
ment, as well as one European regiment, and two of 


Sepoys, which had been despatched from Bombay to 
the same place. But the vacillation of the Madras 
Government, and want of enterprise on the part of 
the commanding officers themselves, prevented their 
co-operating with the Travancore troops in the 

The Mysore army, flushed with success, now began 
to lay waste the country with fire and sword, 
desecrating and despoiling temples, and burning towns 
and villages, whose wretched inhabitants fled to the 
hills, where many were seized and made prisoners. 
The ruins to be seen at the present day testify to the 
ferocity of the invaders, while all the records of 
antiquity and the archives of the Travancore State 
were consumed in the burning pagodas, public offices, 
and houses. These atrocities were perpetrated with 
the express sanction of Tipu Sultan, who himself 
marched with his main army southward to Alwal, 
a favourite watering-place of the Travancore Raja. 
He contemplated the reduction of the whole province. 
The Diw&n, Kasava Pillai, had, however, strengthened 
the garrisons at the principal posts, and constructed 
stockades along all the backwater-passages on the 
coast, so as to intercept the progress of the enemy. 
In the meanwhile the monsoon set in, and the whole 
country was soon under water, so that no communi- 
cation could be maintained except by boats. Tipii, 
despairing of accomplishing his purpose under these 
adverse circumstances, and hearing that the English 
were assembling an army at Trichinopoli, was com- 


pelled to withdraw his troops in haste and retreat to 
Palghat, losing a large number of men on his way. 
The local chronicler grandiloquently compares his 
abrupt departure with the disastrous retreat of 
Napoleon from Moscow. 



TIPU'S aggressions, and his wilful disregard of 
treaties, had now become so reckless that the 
Governor-General had no option but to declare war. 
Lord Cornwallis, who then held the supreme power, 
was a man of stern rectitude, an experienced soldier, 
and not disposed to allow the British Government to 
be trampled in the dust. For some time he had fore- 
seen that hostilities were inevitable, and that the 
half-measures of the Madras authorities had only 
increased the pride and presumption of the Mysore 
potentate. So far, however, he had contented him- 
self with warnings and remonstrances, but the 
unprovoked attack of Tipu on the Travancore State 
decided him to take active steps to put a stop to 
further aggressions on allies of the British. When 
information reached him of the assault on the 
Travancore Lines in December, 1 789, he entered into 
a treaty of offensive and defensive alliance with the 
Marathas and the Nizam for the purpose of curbing 


Tipii in his hostile proceedings, and exacting repara- 
tion. He had, indeed, proposed to conduct personally 
the operations which he deemed necessary, but 
learning that General Medows had been appointed 
Governor of Madras, he was content to leave to that 
experienced officer the prosecution of the impending 
war. When Tipu was apprised of the preparations 
being made to oppose him, he imagined that he 
might cajole the new Governor as he had done his 
predecessor, and wrote accordingly, suggesting that 
matters might be amicably settled by envoys on both 
sides, and asking for a safe-conduct for his own 
ambassador, but was met with the stern reply that an 
attack upon an ally of the English was tantamount 
to a declaration of war upon themselves. The Mysore 
ruler, accustomed to the procrastination and hesita- 
tion which he had previously encountered at the 
hands of the Madras authorities, took this reply as 
being significant, and immediately left Coimbatore 
for Seringapatam to make preparations for defending 
his territory. 

It may be questioned whether the plan of opera- 
tions conceived by General Medows was not of 
greater magnitude than was practicable with the 
means at his disposal. His army was so distributed 
that the main portion under his own command should 
reduce the whole of Coimbatore from Karur, on the 
Trichinopoli frontier, westward to Palgha't, and then 
ascending the Gajalhatti Pass, should enter Mysore 
above the Ghdts, while a separate force under 


Colonel Kelly was to invade the Baramahals to the 
eastward. No special difficulty was met with in 
occupying the several posts in the Coimbatore district, 
while both Dindigal and Palghat fell with little 
resistance on the part of the garrisons. But when 
a division under Colonel Floyd had established them- 
selves at Satyamangalam on the north side of the 
river Bhawani, twenty miles east of the Gajalhatti 
Pass, Tipu, leaving his heavy baggage at the top of 
the ghat, descended the pass with a large body of 
cavalry, supported by many guns, and attacked the 
British force. Part of his army crossed the river 
by a ford, and some detachments in coracles or 
basket-boats, while the remainder operated from the 
northern bank, with orders to seize Satyamangalam. 
The attacks of the Mysore troops were gallantly 
resisted by the small British force, both sides losing 
heavily; but it became evident that it was impossible 
to hold Satyamangalam, and Colonel Floyd was un- 
willingly compelled to retreat. He was hotly pursued 
by Tipu, who kept up a heavy fire with his guns. 

The British troops having halted, a sharp action 
ensued. On a report being spread that General 
Medows had arrived, the Sultan, despairing of success, 
drew off his army. Floyd's detachment arrived safely 
at Velladi, where General Medows met them, having 
returned from Dhannayakank6ta on the way to 
Gajalhatti. Tipu, imagining that the General's march 
was a manoeuvre to get between him and Seringa- 
patam, retired across the Bhawani, while the British 

K 2 


troops returned to Coimbatore. They were there 
joined by Colonel Stuart's division, which had cap- 
tured Palghat. The main object of this enterprise 
that is, the invasion of Mysore by the Gajalhatti 
Pass had, however, been successfully frustrated by 
Tipu. Relieved of any immediate apprehension about 
his capital, he now marched rapidly southwards, 
taking Erode, Dharapuram, and other places; then 
hearing of the invasion of the Baramahal district, he 
proceeded thither with the greater part of his army. 
During this inroad, the British troops in vain pursued 
him, being baffled by the rapidity of his movements, 
while his cavalry, always hovering about, gave him 
precise information whenever the British marched, 
and at the same time intercepted and seized all 
persons sent out by the English general to obtain 

While General Medows was attempting to carry 
out his project of forcing the Gajalhatti Pass, his 
second corps d'armee, amounting to 9,500 men and 
partly composed of native troops sent from Bengal, 
proceeded, in accordance with instructions, to reduce 
the Baramahals. It was commanded by Colonel 
Maxwell, Colonel Kelly having died before active 
operations were commenced. On November i Max- 
well reconnoitred the stronghold of Krishnagiri, the 
capital of the district. Distrusting his ability to 
besiege it with success, he retired on Kaveripatam, 
but his intention of surprising Krishnagiri was 
foiled by the rapid movements of Tipu. The latter, 


anticipating the approach of Medows, attacked 
Maxwell with his cavalry, and strove to bring on a 
general action before the junction of the two English 
armies. This design, however, was frustrated owing 
to the strong position occupied by Maxwell. He 
remained strictly on the defensive, in expectation of 
the arrival of Medows, who, crossing the Kaveri at 
Erode, reached the Thopur Pass on the i4th, and 
effected a junction with the other army on November 
17. Tipu, however, was too skilful a general to be 
caught in a snare, which would have compelled him 
either to fight or to retreat up the Ghats, so he 
determined to double back by the Thopur Pass, from 
either end of which the British force was more than 
twenty miles distant, and to lay waste the country on 
the south. 

This movement he carried out, although he ran the 
risk of being cut off by the English force, which 
marched on the same day for the pass. Fortune 
favoured him through the inertness of Medows who 
forbad Colonel Stuart, commanding the right wing, 
from attempting to attack a large body of the Mysore 
infantry while in the defile, an operation which that 
officer was confident of accomplishing with success. 
The progress of the English army was so slow and 
cautious that Tipu's troops were able to clear the 
pass with little loss, leaving however their baggage 
and camp equipage on the other side. Emerging into 
the more open country, the Sultan directed his march 
towards Trichinopoli, but finding the Coleroon river 


so swollen that to cross it would be impracticable, he 
changed his course. He proceeded due north through 
the heart of the Coromandel country, burning and 
destroying all the villages on the road, and exacting 
heavy contributions from the people. The English 
general, who had followed in pursuit, was so ignorant 
of his movements that he supposed him to have 
crossed the Coleroon and gone southwards. About 
the middle of December, the Mysore army invested 
the fort of Tiagarh, but was repulsed after a short 
siege. Tipti next advanced to reduce Trinomalai and 
Permakoil, both of which places surrendered to his 
arms. He then marched to Pondicherry in the ex- 
pectation of receiving a promise of support from 
the French authorities ; but the Governor, while en- 
gaging to make known his proposals to his own 
Government, was unable to hold out any immediate 
guarantee of assistance. Tipti stipulated for the aid 
of 6,000 men, all expenses of transport and clothing 
to be paid by him, and engaged with this help to 
destroy the English altogether in India, and to give 
France possession of their territory. The King of 
France, when Tipu's offer was made known to him, 
although conscious of the advantages of the pro- 
posal, was reluctantly compelled to discourage it, not 
being indeed himself in a position to guarantee any 
material aid. 

The Mysore sovereign may be said in this cam- 
paign to have shown greater skill in strategy than 
the English general who was opposed to him. But 


destiny had declared against him on the western 
coast, where his commanding officer, Husse'n Ali, was 
signally defeated by Colonel Hartley; while the 
Governor of Bombay, General Abercromby, landing 
at Tellicherri, reduced Cannanore, so that by the end 
of 1790 the whole of Malabar was freed from Tipu's 
sway. It must be admitted, however, that by his 
energy and the celerity of his movements Tipu had 
for a time checked and discomfited his opponents, 
who, instead of occupying any part of his territory, 
found themselves attacked in the very centre of their 
own possessions. 

At the end of January, 1791, Lord Cornwallis, the 
Governor-General, who had arrived at Madras in the 
previous month, assumed personally the command of 
the army then assembled at Vellore, and determined 
to undertake the siege of Bangalore. Tipu, on hearing 
of his advance towards the Mysore country, hastened 
to prevent his ascending the Ghats from the Baramahal. 
But Lord Cornwallis, by a feigned march on Ambur 
in that district, took the main army first north, and 
then due east, to the Mugli Pass, which he reached in 
four days without opposition. The ascent was found 
to be comparatively easy, and in a few more days he 
was joined by his siege-train. When his equipments 
were perfected, he marched towards Bangalore by way 
of Kolar and Hosakote, both of which places made no 
resistance, and encamped fifteen miles from the object 
of attack. Tipu endeavoured to harass his move- 
ments by his cavalry and rocket-men, and next day 


drew up his troops as if to seek an engagement. 
Thereupon Lord Cornwallis sent the rear of his army 
to confront the enemy, and gave orders for the heavy 
guns and the rest of his force to pass to the right 
behind this cover and proceed direct to Bangalore. 
They arrived there the same evening (March 5), 
followed by the portion of his army which had faced 
Tipii's troops. 

The fortress of Bangalore, constructed in the six- 
teenth century by Kempe Gauda (the Bed Chief), 
was originally of mud, but in 1761 it was, by order 
of Haidar, enlarged and strongly rebuilt in stone. It 
was of oval shape, with round towers, five cavaliers, 
a fausse-braye, and a deep ditch. The glacis, however, 
was defective, and the flanking defence imperfect. 
To the north of it was the pettah or town, also 
encircled by a deep ditch and a thick-set hedge of 
thorns 1 , which had sufficiently protected the place 
against the Mardthd horse. It has now a population 
of 180,000 including the cantonment, and even at the 
time mentioned was a commercial town of impor- 
tance ; indeed the second in rank in the Mysore 

The day after his arrival Lord Cornwallis moved 
his force to a stronger position. Tipii Sultan was 
about to encamp to the south-west of the fort, when 
the English cavalry, which had been sent out to re- 
connoitre, fell in with a division of his troops which 

1 This hedge was entirely removed about 1861, and the ditch 
filled up and levelled. 


they attacked, but were routed with loss after a sharp 
contest. On March 7, Lord Cornwallis issued in- 
structions for assaulting the town. This was a task 
of great difficulty, the impenetrable thicket concealing 
the actual state of the defences, while the gate which 
was the point of attack was built up behind with 
strong masonry, and for a long time baffled the troops, 
upon whom a severe fire was directed from the 
turrets. Heavy guns were then brought up, and the 
gate was at last forced, but not without considerable 
loss. Among the fallen was Colonel Moorehouse 
in command of the artillery. The Sultan made a 
desperate effort to recover the town, sending a large 
force with positive orders to regain possession of it, 
but after a prolonged contest his troops were repulsed 
on all sides, and obliged to evacuate it. 

During the ensuing siege of the fort, Tipti Sultan 
for some days contented himself with cannonading 
the English troops, apparently having in view the 
destruction of the park of artillery which contained 
the siege ammunition. On the aoth, foreseeing the 
probability of an early assault, he massed his army on 
the heights to the south-west, to protect some heavy 
guns that he had brought up to enfilade from an old 
embankment the works of the enemy, which were 
now advanced nearly to the top of the glacis. Lord 
Cornwallis, perceiving the danger that threatened 
his approaches, moved out his troops as if to attack 
the Mysore army. This had the effect of making the 
Sultan order the withdrawal of the guns in question 

154 TIP 17 SULTAN 

in order to support the position he held. They were 
brought back again, however, in the evening, which 
induced the English commander to make immediate 
arrangements for an assault the same night, a breach 
having been effected in the curtain to the left of the 
gateway. At eleven o'clock the ladders were planted 
to ascend the fausse-braye and a projecting work on 
the right. The garrison sounded the alarm, and a 
desperate struggle took place on the breach ; the 
commandant of the fort, Bahadur Khan, heading an 
obstinate resistance when the British troops gained 
the ramparts. The assailants, however, overcame all 
opposition, charging with the bayonet. Then filing 
off to right and left by alternate companies, they met 
over the Mysore gate, and descended into the fortress 
before any help from outside could reach the garrison. 
The enemy had despatched two separate columns to 
attack the British, but in both cases they were driven 
back with great slaughter. The advance of a third 
body of his troops along the sortie by the Mysore 
gate was checked by a few shots from the guns on the 
ramparts now held by the assailants. The carnage 
had been great, and upwards of one thousand bodies 
of Tipu's troops were buried, while the casualties in 
the British army during the whole siege amounted to 
about five hundred. 

Although Tipu had expected that an assault would 
be made, and had moved his army at nightfall to 
within a mile and a half of the Mysore gate of the 
fortress, in order to support its defenders, he was un- 


prepared for so immediate and disastrous a result. 
The first intimation which he received of the success 
of the enterprise was the arrival in his camp of the 
disheartened garrison who had evacuated the place. 
Finding that all was lost, his next thought was to 
provide for the defence of bis capital. Meanwhile 
Lord Cornwallis, after making the necessary repairs 
of the Bangalore fortress, marched in about a week's 
time to Devanhalli, with the object of effecting a 
junction with a body of 10,000 cavalry despatched 
by the Nizam. This he accomplished after long 
delay, caused by imperfect information, and the 
British army, accompanied by the undisciplined and 
heterogeneous host of their ally, marched towards 
Seringapatam, taking the southern route by Kankan- 
halli l , through a wild but picturesque country. 
Thence they proceeded to Arikere, about nine miles 
east of Seringapatam, which they reached on May 13, 
without meeting any opposition. Tipu, in contraven- 
tion of the engagements he entered into at Mangalore 
in 1784, had retained in captivity no fewer than 
one hundred English, men and boys, most of whom 
had perished through ill-usage. About nineteen of 
the youths, who had been trained to dance and sing, 
still survived, and were now cruelly put to death, lest 
their detention should be brought to light 2 . The 

1 The fateful rock of KaMldrrig, so often mentioned, is only a 
few miles west of this place. 

2 It has never been explained why these unfortunate people 
were allowed by the Madras Government to languish in captivity 
after the signing of the treaty of 1784. 


despot took care also to remove from the walls of the 
houses of Seringapatam the caricatures of the English, 
with which his artists had ornamented them. 

Lord Cornwallis, on approaching Seringapatam, 
found the Mysore troops drawn up in a strong 
position, with the Kaveri on their right, a rugged 
hill on their left, and a swamp in front. Seeing the 
improbability of attacking them with success on this 
ground, the English General resolved to attempt by 
a night march to turn their left flank by crossing the 
heights some distance to the right, but a heavy storm 
coming on defeated this design. The next morning 
he determined if possible to bring on a general 
action from the hill which his troops had occupied. 
They proceeded to descend the ravines to a rocky 
ridge intervening between the two armies. Tipii 
then promptly changed his front, and succeeded in 
first getting possession of this ridge, whence a heavy 
fire was poured on the advancing English column, 
while bodies of cavalry endeavoured to break their 
line. An attack upon the ridge by the battalions 
under Colonel Maxwell was however successful, and 
the Mysore infantry retreated down the opposite 
descent, after losing some guns in the struggle. The 
remainder of the English army then advanced to 
attack the main body of the enemy, who were 
gradually driven, after a fierce resistance, from height 
to height. The English cavalry under Colonel Floyd 
charged the rear of their retreating infantry, inflicting 
heavy loss. 


The success would have been complete had it not 
been for the accidental or intentional bungling at 
this juncture of the Nizam's cavalry. This enabled 
the Mysore troops to escape nearly unscathed, with 
almost all their guns, some of which they had 
before hurriedly abandoned. The pursuit was, after 
a short interval, resumed ; but the enemy had mean- 
while withdrawn under the cover of the guns to the 
island of Seringapatam. The victory, although a 
splendid one, was not decisive or final. The English 
army was sorely crippled from the want of supplies 
both for men and cattle, so many of the latter having 
succumbed from lack of fodder, that most of the heavy 
guns had to be dragged by the troops. To add to 
Lord Cornwallis' perplexity, the enemy's light horse 
had effectually intercepted all communications, and 
he had received no intelligence of a column of British 
troops which had been ordered to join him from the 
western coast. 

This second British force had in fact entered My- 
sore from Coorg by the Heggala Pass, and proceeded 
as far as Periyapatam, thirty-five miles from Seringa- 
patam. But Lord Cornwallis, finding it impossible 
to move his heavy guns, sent orders to Sir Robert 
Abercromby, who commanded the division, to return 
forthwith to Malabar. These instructions were carried 
out, most of the cattle died on the way, and it was 
found necessary in consequence to bury the battering- 
train at the summit of the pass into Coorg. The 
Mysore cavalry keenly pursued the retiring force, 


plundering the baggage and killing several men, 
while our gunpowder, having been deposited in a 
temple, was set fire to. The explosion destroyed the 
temple itself and a great part of the town. Lord 
Cornwallis, finding his position no longer tenable, 
and all communication cut off, destroyed his siege- 
train, threw his shot into the river, and burning 
his carts and tumbrels, retired on May 26 towards 
Bangalore. Tipu Sultan, who had thus again escaped 
the fate which was impending over him, fired a 
royal salute from his ramparts and illuminated his 
capital. Cornwallis' troops were half-starved, and 
suffered greatly on their return eastward from the 
inclemency of the rainy season. On approaching 
Chinkurali (Cherkiili) he was fortunately met by two 
Marathd armies, of whose approach Tipii's skirmishers 
had kept him in ignorance, and his immediate neces- 
sities were thus relieved. 



A PASSING reference may here be made to the 
measures taken by the Poona Darbar and the Nizam, 
whose co-operation the Governor-General had secured, 
to prosecute hostilities against the Mysore ruler. The 
principal gain which the Marathas hoped to secure 
from the alliance was the recovery of the territory 
between the Krishna and the Tungabhadra which 
Raghuba had made over to Haidar as the price of his 
support. An army of 10,000 horse and 10,000 foot 
was placed under the command of Parasu Ram Bhao, 
one of the Patwardhan Brahmans, who, aided by 
a small reinforcement of British troops from Bombay, 
proceeded to besiege Dharwar, the capital of the 
province, September, 1790. 

Dharwar was then held by Badar-uz-zaman, who 
had under him about 10,000 men, regular and irregular. 
He resisted all attacks for three months, and although 
an escalade was attended at first with some success, it 
ultimately failed owing to the Marathas beginning 
to pillage and burn the town. The conflagration 


enabled the commandant to drive them out in the 
confusion. In the beginning of January, 1791, fresh 
British troops arrived, without guns or stores. The 
next month preparations were made for an assault, 
but just as the assailants were about to advance from 
their cover, the commandant lodged lighted portfires 
among the fascines which filled the ditch, and blew 
up the causeway. The enterprise thus failed, and 
although Parasu Ram Bhao soon afterwards received 
some heavy guns from Poona, and mining operations 
were again prosecuted, little real progress was made. 
It was not till March 30 that the brave commandant, 
owing to scarcity of provisions, surrendered the fort 
which he had held for six months. The fall of Dhar- 
war led to the speedy reoccupation by the Marathas of 
the whole province. Parasu Ram Bho crossed the 
Tungabhadra and marched towards Seringapatam, 
while another force under Hari Panth proceeded by 
a more easterly route by way of Sira in the same 
direction. The two armies effected a junction with 
Lord Cornwallis' troops at Cherkuli, as mentioned at 
the end of the last chapter. 

Nizam All's contingent, aided by a small British 
force, assembled near Haidarabad in May, 1790, and, 
after protracted delays, invested the stronghold of 
K6paP. The fort held out until April, 1791, a period 

1 This fortress is twenty miles west of the ruins at Hampi (the 
capital of the old Vijayanagar dynasty), which are of great interest 
to the archaeologist. The vast temple of Vittala is supported by 
richly carved monoliths twenty feet high, immense granite slabs 
forming the roof. 


of five months, when intelligence of the capture of 
Bangalore in the previous month induced the garrison 
to surrender. The Nizam's troops then marched to 
the south-east, to regain possession of the Kadapa 
territory and the adjoining districts. A large force 
of his cavalry also proceeded to join Lord Cornwallis' 
army, on its way to Seringapatam. 

Tipii had, on various occasions since the British 
army entered Mysore, written evasive letters to Lord 
Cornwallis, expressing a desire for amicable negotia- 
tions, and complaining of the conduct of the Travan- 
core Raja. These overtures for a reconciliation were 
repeated the day after the Governor-General broke up 
his camp near Seringapatam, and a short time after- 
wards he sent a Brahman to make advances to Lord 
Cornwallis. But the envoy, having been prohibited 
from negotiating with any one except the Chiefs of 
the allies, declined to treat with deputies, and returned 
to his master without effecting any result. 



LORD CORNWALLIS, having returned to Bangalore, 
arranged with the Marathas, to whom he made a loan 
of fourteen lacs of rupees, that they should proceed to 
Sira to operate in the north-west, while the Nizam's 
forces were entrusted with the duty of occupying the 
territory to the north-east. He himself marched to 
the Bdramahals to reduce the forts in that district, 
and to keep open the communications with Madras. 

All the forts, except Krishnagiri, capitulated or 
were seized, but there were still some strongholds 
occupied by the Mysore troops which intervened 
between him and the Nizam's army. The chief of 
these was Nandidrug, a stupendous rock-fortress, 
4,800 feet above sea-level, and thirty miles north of 
Bangalore, the natural strength of which had been 
increased by the chiefs of the adjoining town of Chik- 
ballapur. On the summit is an extensive plateau, in 
the centre of which is a deep hollow, with a wood and 
a fine reservoir containing an abundance of water. 


The fortifications were extensive, and the descent on 
all sides but one was precipitous. The south-west 
angle formed a tremendous cliff, now called ' Tipii's 
Drop,' from a tradition that prisoners were hurled 
over it by orders of the Sultan. An extremely steep 
and almost impracticable path leads down direct to 
the town beneath, but this was quite inaccessible to 
troops, and the only side on which an approach could 
be made was strengthened by a double line of ram- 
parts. A spirited defence was made by Lutf Ali Bdg, 
the commandant, the garrison using their guns with 
effect, and rolling down huge masses of rock on the 
assailants. But notwithstanding the difficulty of 
dragging guns up the rugged hill to play on the 
walls, and the want of cover, two breaches were made 
after an interval of three weeks. On October 19 an 
assault was ordered, and the fort was carried in the 
most gallant manner, after a sharp struggle, and with 
little loss. The splendid rock is now. owing to its 
salubrious climate, a favourite resort of the Europeans 
at Bangalore. 

These successes were to some extent counter- 
balanced by the failure of Colonel Maxwell to seize 
Krishnagiri, while an unexpected reverse befell a small 
detachment which occupied Coimbatore. Tipu Sultan, 
having heard of its weak state, sent a considerable 
force to invest Coimbatore, but it was energetically 
defended by Lieutenant Chalmers and a young 
Frenchman named De la Combe. With a small body 
of half-caste Europeans and some Travancore soldiers, 

L 2 


though furnished only with small guns and bad 
ammunition, our garrison repulsed all the attacks of 
the Mysore troops. Scarcely however had the slender 
defences been repaired, and some guns captured from 
the enemy been mounted on the walls, when Tipu's 
General, Kamar-ud-din, came in sight with a force of 
8,000 regular infantry, a body of horse, and eighteen 
guns and mortars. Meanwhile a detachment under 
Major Cuppage was approaching to relieve the garri- 
son, leaving at Palghat a large number of cattle 
destined to equip General Abercromby's army. 
Kamar-ud-din made a dash for the pass which, 
however, Cuppage after a severe action retained 
possession of, but was compelled to return to Palghat. 
Kamar-ud-din then resumed the siege of Coimba ore 
with vigour, and, after a stout resistance, compelled the 
defenders to surrender. Although on capitulating, 
Lieutenant Chalmers and his companion Lieutenant 
Nash, who had brought him some slight assistance 
from Madura, were assured of a safe-conduct to 
Palghat, Tipii refused to ratify the stipulation, and 
after a detention of several days they were sent as 
prisoners to Seringapatam. 

Lord Cornwallis, having now made all his arrange- 
ments for prosecuting the siege of the Mysore capital, 
proceeded first to reduce several formidable hill- 
fortresses, the continued possession of which by the 
enemy might interrupt his communications. The 
chief of these was Savandnig, a stupendous rock of 
granite, 4,000 feet above sea-level, and resembling 


in appearance a gigantic whale. There are two peaks 
on the summit, one called the black, and the other the 
white peak, separated by a chasm, and both supplied 
with plenty of water. The mountain is smooth and 
precipitous on all sides, with a circumference of many 
miles, and was surrounded by a thick jungle of bam- 
boos and other trees which made the rock unapproach- 
able. Even at the present time the ascent is difficult, 
the granite boulders and grass being very slippery. 
The bluff bold sides of the rock are very imposing, 
and from the summit there is a splendid view com- 
manding the approaches on every side. To reduce 
such an inaccessible stronghold seemed an impossi- 
bility, and Tipii certainly deemed it to be unassail- 
able ; yet the feat was performed in an incredibly 
short space of time, and with hardly any casualties. 

Part of his troops being so disposed as to prevent 
any relief coming from the west, Lord Cornwallis 
entrusted to Colonel Stuart the task of cutting 
a road for the guns through the heavy jungle to 
the foot of the rock. When this difficult work had 
been achieved and the heavy ordnance had been got 
into position, the batteries on December 17 opened 
on the lower wall of the defences, 1,500 feet above the 
base. In three days a breach was made in this wall, 
but above this again was another wall erected on 
a precipitous height, and occupied in strength by the 
garrison. On a sufficient elevation for the guns being 
attained, this latter wall was found to be of slight 
construction, and the next morning it was speedily 


demolished, and an immediate assault ordered. The 
precipitous face of the rock was soon covered by the 
storming party, who, heedless of the dangerous nature 
of the ascent, succeeded in gaining the citadel on the 
eastern peak, the defenders being so taken by surprise 
as to offer no opposition. Meanwhile, another division, 
after climbing the rock above the breach, made its way 
towards the western peak, whence the commandant 
of that citadel had sallied to attack the assailants of the 
eastern peak. Met midway by our second division, 
and seeing that shots from the batteries below were 
falling among his men, he retreated to his post, but 
was so closely followed that pursuers and pursued 
entered the citadel together, the commandant falling 
at its gate. This notable feat of arms was followed 
by the capture by escalade of the fort of Hutridrug 
(Utradnig), and the reduction of several other minor 
strongholds, all of which, except the first, were seized 
without much resistance. 

The toils were now being closely woven round the 
' tiger,' and Lord Cornwallis commenced his march on 
Seringapatam. He encamped six miles to the north- 
ward of that capital on February 5, 1792, having been 
joined by the main army of the Nizam, which was 
accompanied by Sir John Kennaway the Resident at 
Haidarabad. The remainder of Nizam All's troops 
had been detained in the ineffectual blockade of 
Gurramkonda in the Kadapa territory, while the 
Maratha hosts under Parasu Ram Bhao were en- 
gaged in the congenial occupation of plundering the 


northern and eastern part of Mysore. Only a small 
portion of their troops under Hari Panth marched 
with the British army. 

Seringapatam, or Srirangapatan, is a place of con- 
siderable antiquity, and is situated at the western 
end of an island three miles long and one wide. It 
derives much of its celebrity from two temples built 
there about a thousand years ago (894) by one 
Tirumalaiya l . In the time of the Vijayanagar 
dynasty, about 1454, a fort was erected on the island 
by Timmanna, to whom had been confided the 
government of the Ashtagrma, or eight townships 
on either side of the Kaveri, which constituted the 
district. The stones for this fortress were obtained 
by the destruction of numerous Jain temples in the 
vicinity. From the time of its seizure by Raj 
Wodiar in i6og, successive Rajas had given attention 
to the defences, and they had been further added to 
by Haidar and Tipu. The river, full of rocks and 
frequently unfordable, was in itself a serious obstacle ; 
while along its banks, huge walls with lofty cavaliers 
and deep ditches cut through solid granite increased 
the natural strength of the position. On the northern 
face were strong redoubts, supported by an inner 
fort. Beyond all and outside the island was an 
almost impassable belt of thorny trees extending from 
the river, first due north and then in a south-easterly 

1 A peculiar sanctity is attached by Hindus to a point in the 
Kaveri called the 'Paschima Vahan,' or 'western flow,' where the 
river, making a sudden turn, flows to the west instead of to the 
east, contrary to the regular course of the stream. 


direction to the Karigat hill, where it again en- 
countered the Kaveri. The number of guns on the 
northern defences is said to have been three hundred, 
while the garrison inside and outside the fort com- 
prised 45,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry. 

Lord Cornwallis, without consulting his allies or 
waiting for the co-operation of General Abercromby 
who had been ordered to advance from Malabar, 
determined to attack this formidable position the day 
after his arrival. Accordingly, dividing his troops into 
three columns at night, he not only forced the Sultan 
to withdraw from his advanced posts, but succeeded 
in establishing himself on the eastern part of the 
island, after securing possession of the ford over the 
river. This was not accomplished without severe 
fighting, every point being obstinately contested, and 
the enemy returning repeatedly to the attack, from 
which they did not desist till daylight. Tipu had 
taken up his post in a redoubt which bore his name, 
but finding that his centre had been penetrated, and 
that the enemy were making for the ford, he retired 
into the fortress. In the confusion that ensued, 
vast numbers of the Coorgs, who had been made to 
serve compulsorily in his army, contrived to escape 
to their own country. On February 7, 1792, the 
Sultan made a desperate effort to retake the redoubt, 
sending his choicest troops, including the French in 
his service, to attack it. All his attempts were re- 
pulsed, nor was an endeavour to dislodge the British 
from the island more successful. 


Preparations were now made for assaulting the 
fort itself. Meanwhile General Abercromby's force 
had advanced from Coorg, and joined the main army 
on February 1 6. The frightful atrocities committed by 
the Sultan in the beautiful hill province of Coorg had 
left an indelible impression upon the people, and 
although Vira Raj, the ruling Wodiar or chief, was 
too weak to resist the vast army of Mysore, he had 
on many occasions ravaged the part of the country 
which lay on his borders. The Coorg headmen held 
their land on a military tenure, all the able-bodied 
men of their several families being bound to serve 
their chief in his military expeditions. Although 
undisciplined, they made a gallant array in their blue 
surtouts and red sashes, with their long carbines, and 
the national broad-bladed wood-knife, called Kad- 
katti, which they wore on the back. 

Vira Raj had been imprisoned in Mysore for six 
years, and only effected his escape at the end of 
1788. Remembering his own vicissitudes, and the 
terrible disasters which had befallen his country, he 
was eager to avail himself of the friendship proffered 
by the British Government when hostilities with 
Mysore were impending. With this view he readily 
entered into an alliance with our agents in 1790, 
binding himself to treat Tipu as an enemy, and to 
furnish all possible supplies, while the E. I. Company 
on their part guaranteed his independence. This 
convention, as will be seen presently, gave immense 
umbrage to Tipu, who was well aware of the 


value of the Coorg province from a strategical point 
of view. 

The Sultan was greatly enraged on seeing that the 
English army had deliberately cut down, for the 
purpose of making fascines, the cypresses and other 
trees in the Lai Bagh, where his father's tomb had 
been erected ; and it must be admitted that this act of 
vandalism was, though perhaps unavoidable, one that 
might well rouse his wrath. He vented his rage by 
firing his guns at the garden, and every other post 
occupied by the enemy, but seeing the active opera- 
tions of the British army for the prosecution of the 
siege, he began to consider seriously the consequences 
to himself and his capital. 

The opportune arrival of the Bombay army, con- 
sisting of 2,000 Europeans and 4,000 Sepoys, enabled 
Lord Cornwallis to arrange for attacking Seringa- 
patam on both sides of the Kaveri, and on Feb. 19, 
General Abercromby took up a position on the 
south-west of the river. The movement was sharply 
contested by the Sultan's troops, who were, however, 
driven back, though they repeated the attack on the 
22nd, with a like result. 

During the progress of these operations, Tipii had 
thought it advisable to sound the views of Lord 
Cornwallis by despatching envoys to his camp, in 
order to arrange the terms of a convention, and on 
the 22nd received an intimation of the preliminary 
conditions which the allies offered for his acceptance. 
They specified the cession of half his dominions, the 


payment of over three millions of rupees, the release 
of all prisoners, and the delivery of two of his sons, 
named Moiz-ud-din and Abd-ul-Khalik, as hostages. 
Tipu, after consulting his principal officers, assented 
to the general tenor of these terms, and duly signed 
the contents of the document submitted to him, 
remitting shortly afterwards a million of rupees in 
part payment of the sum stipulated. But when he 
found that the province of Coorg was mentioned in the 
detailed list of the territory which was to be severed 
from his control, his rage knew no bounds. For 
a long time he refused to sign the final treaty, and it 
was only when he saw indications of the siege being 
recommenced, and was told that the negotiations 
would be broken off, unless he at once accepted the 
proffered terms, that he at last gave way. 

In estimating Lord Cornwallis' policy, it must be 
remembered that soldiers are ordinarily more generous 
than other negotiators to a conquered foe, and that 
he deprecated a further conflict which would entail 
a great sacrifice of life. Moreover, he was probably 
fettered by restrictions placed upon him by the E. I. 
Company, who, while unwittingly founding an empire, 
were still walking in commercial leading-strings. Tipu 
was undoubtedly an usurper, as his father had been 
before him ; the lawful Mysore Raja, though a 
captive, was still alive ; and Tipu had not hesitated 
to avow himself the implacable enemy of the English. 
The Sultan was hemmed in on all sides, and Seringa- 
patam must inevitably have fallen had the siege 


been prosecuted. It must be confessed, moreover, 
that it was a dubious policy to restore to power a 
bitter foe, thus enabling him to resume a hostile 
attitude which eventually compelled Lord Mornington 
to crush for ever the despot's arrogance l . 

Cornwallis was of opinion that he had effectually 
curbed Tipu's power of disturbing the peace of India, 
a mistaken idea, of which subsequent events showed 
the fallacy. The restoration of the lawful Mysore 
dynasty does not appear to have been contemplated, 
nor would the captive Raja have been able to main- 

1 It was about this time that the Sultan gave his sanction to the 
publication of cei-tain encomiastic effusions about himself, which 
are sufficient evidence of his vanity. The following are extracts 
from one of these productions : 

'When the Rustam-hearted King rushed forward on the charger 

of his anger, then did the hearts of the English lions quake 

with fear. 
' The flash of his sabre struck the army of Baillie like lightning : 

it caused Munro to shed tears, resembling the drops from the 

' On Lang's heart was fixed a stain, like that of the tulip : Coote 

was made by this calamity to lament. 
'When the Marathas behold the army of our King, the dread 

thereof causes them to flee like deer. 
"The Firingi (European) and Nizam-ul-Mulk pass night and day 

together, trembling with fear of our King. 
'The Hajjam's (meaning 'barber' in derision for Nizam) army 

flees through dread of thee, as the hunter does when he 

beholds the lion. 
' Compared with him Hatim was a miser ; Socrates, Hippocrates, 

and all the sages of the earth appear before him like ignorant 

children ; Mars dwindles before the valour of our King to 

a mere infant. 
'Owing to the justice of this King, the deer of the forest make 

their pillow of the lion and the tiger, and their mattress of the 

leopard and panther.' 


tain his rule unsupported by British troops. The 
territory held by his predecessors at the time of 
Haidar All's usurpation formed but a portion of the 
Mysore dominions in 1792. These considerations 
were probably factors in inducing Lord Cornwallis to 
refrain from the extreme measure of dethroning Tipu 

As soon as Tipu had recovered from the humilia- 
tion to which he had been exposed, his first step 
was to order contributions from all his subjects. 
Even the soldiers were not exempted from this 
forced levy, which was applied to the purpose of 
liquidating his debt. It must be admitted that, so 
far as the English Government were concerned, he 
faithfully discharged his obligations. The hostage 
princes, Abd-ul-Khalik and Moiz-ud-din, who had 
been in charge of Major Doveton, were in consequence 
returned to their father in 1794. But the burden 
which was imposed upon the cultivators, from whom 
three times the amount required was exacted, was 
disastrous in the extreme and greatly impoverished 
the country. Assiduous attention was paid to 
strengthening the fortifications of Seringapatam, and 
the Sultan then proceeded to introduce various 
changes and so-called improvements in his adminis- 
tration, of which an account will be given further on. 


IN 1793 Lord Cornwallis left India. He was 
succeeded by Sir John Shore, afterwards Lord 
Teignmouth, who, although possessing a profound 
and extensive acquaintance with all questions rela- 
ting to revenue administration, had not the political 
capacity which was needed to keep in check so 
aggressive and self-sufficient a character as Tipii. In 
1796, the Mysore Raja, Chamraj, died, leaving an 
infant son, to whom Tipii did not think it expedient 
to give even the titular status of Raja. It became 
apparent about this time that although the tiger's 
claws had been clipped, he had not been deprived of 
the power to do mischief. There was a stipulation in 
the Seringapatam treaty that if Tipii should molest 
either of the contracting parties, the others should 
unite to punish him. But in 1795 he entered into 
a covert engagement with AH Jah, son of the Nizam, 
then in rebellion against his father, to assist him 
on condition that, in case he succeeded in dethroning 
the Nizam, he should make over to Tipii Sultan all 


the territory lying south of the Tungabhadra and 
Krishna livers then held by the Nizam. This 
scheme was, however, foiled by the prompt action of 
M. Raymond, commanding a body of French troops in 
the Nizam's service. All Jah was taken prisoner. 

Tipii next deputed an embassy in 1796 to the court 
of Zaman Shah, the Afghan ruler, seeking his aid as 
a co-religionist, and making magnificent promises of 
co-operation, with a view to the subjugation of the 
Marathas and the expulsion of the English from 
India. Nor did he confine himself to these overtures. 
He also used every means in his power to foment 
misunderstandings between the Peshwa, Sindhia, and 
the Nizam on the one hand, and the English on the 
other, so as to sever the connexion of the native 
chiefs with the British. The previous attempts of the 
Sultan to bring about a close alliance between the 
French and himself had hitherto proved abortive ; but 
now that open war had broken out between the two 
great European states, which had so long been rivals 
in India, the time seemed to him propitious for 
renewing negotiations. Among the curious papers 
found subsequently in the palace of Seringapatam is 
a document relating the proceedings taken by a body 
of French citizens in the pay of ' citizen Tipii/ Fired 
by enthusiasm for the recently constituted French 
Republic, the Frenchmen assembled to the number 
of fifty-nine at Seringapatam, and elected as their 
president citizen Francis Ripaud, who is styled a 
Lieutenant in the French navy. After passing several 


resolutions testifying their devotion to the republic 
and their hatred of royalty, they hoisted on May 14, 
1797, the national flag. They next repaired to the 
parade in the city, where they were received by the 
Prince (the Sultan), who, after firing a salute of 2,300 
(sic) pieces of cannon, assured them of his affection 
and support. To this they replied by declarations of 
unfailing devotion to his cause. Amidst a profound 
silence, the tree of Liberty was planted, surmounted 
by the cap of Equality. Ripaud then made a speech 
in which the following passage occurs : 

' Je vois le comble de la barbarie et celui de 1'atrocite 
Dieu ! j'en fremis d'horreur ! Quoi ! Je vois ces victimes de 
la ferocite anglaise qui ont et6 scies entre deux planches ! 
des femmes victimes de leur brutalite et assassinees au meme 
moment. Oh ! comble d'horreurs ! mes cheveux se redressent ! 
Que vois-je ? Des enfants encore & la mamelle, je les 
vois teints au sang de leurs meres infortun^es. Je vois 
ces malheureux enfants expirer de la meme mort que leurs 
malheureuses meres. Oh ! comble d'horreur et de scelera- 
tesse, que d'indignation tu inspires ! Soyez persuade es, ames 
infortunees, que nous vous vengerons. Oh ! perfides et cruels 
Anglais, tremblez ! II est un Dieu, vengeur du crime, qui 
nous inspire de laver dans ton sang les atrocites que tu as 
commises envers nos peres et leurs malheureuses compagnes. 
Apaisez-vous, ames plaintives de 1'innocence, nous jurons de 
vous venger. Oui, je le jure ! ' 

These ardent Jacobins seem to have inspired Tipii, 
not only with an idea of their ' hault courage,' as 
Kingsley would say, but also of their ability to be of 
material service to him. Although Monsieur F. Ripaud 


was in all probability a scamp of the first water, 
and his pretensions were ridiculed by the Sult&n's 
officers, that sovereign, who in his own eyes was 
wiser than all his court, determined to purchase 
his vessel and send ambassadors in it to the Isle of 
France (Mauritius), to solicit from the Governor the 
aid of a fleet and an army. From a note in Tipu's own 
handwriting it appears that he was singularly ignorant 
both of geography and history. The following are 
entries in this document, which professes to be a 
catalogue raisonne' of the heads of departments of the 
French administration : 

'Names of the three islands belonging to the English 
Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey.' ' On the English island there was 
once the Rajd of a tribe called Coosea (Ecosse ]) a hundred 
years ago, the English Raja put the Raja of the Cooseas to 
death, and took possession of his country.' 

On April 2, 1797, Tipii addressed a letter to the 
authorities (Sardars) of Mauritius, professing his at- 
tachment to the French, and dwelling upon the 
friendship which had long subsisted between them 
and the Mysore State from the time of his father, 
Haidar All. ' The shameless, thieving, robbing 
English, of themselves incompetent,' had, he said, 
leagued with the Marathas and the Mughal (Nizam), 
and forcing him to make peace, had extorted from the 
' God-given State ' three crores and thirty lacs of 
rupees, besides wresting from him half his finest 
provinces. He therefore sought aid from the French 
to expel the iniquitous English from Hindustan, 


asking them to furnish both Europeans and Negro 
troops to assist his own in this desirable object. 
Ripaud's deputy, who was to have sailed with the 
envoys, decamped however in a boat with the pur- 
chase-money of the ship just before their embarkation, 
and the embassy was consequently delayed ; nor did 
it leave till October, when Ripaud himself, by Tipii's 
desire, accompanied it. The ambassadors reached the 
Isle of France in January, 1798, when the absurdity 
of Tipii's proposals became apparent. He asked for 
10,000 French troops, and 30,000 Habshis (Negroes), 
who, he asserted, with the co-operation of 60,000 men 
on his part, would be enabled to subdue both the 
Marathas and the Nizam, reduce Madras to ashes, 
and expel the English entirely from India. He even 
entered into minute details as to how that result 
was to be accomplished ; but the envoys were not 
provided with funds, though they were profuse in 
promises. General Malartic, the Governor of the Isle 
of France, saw that Tipii had been gulled by Ripaud. 
He nevertheless received the ambassadors in state, 
and promised to at once transmit their master's requi- 
sition to France. Knowing, however, that he could 
himself render no assistance, he contented himself 
with issuing a proclamation calling for volunteers. 
The result was that about one hundred French sub- 
jects accompanied Tipu's envoys on their return to 
India, landing at Mangalore in April, 1798 1 . 

1 The reports which the envoys submitted to Tipu on their 
return are curious and interesting, but too long for quotation. 


They relate their ill-treatment by Ripaud when at sea, their 
sufferings from mal-de-mer, the surprise which their arrival at 
Port Louis caused to the French authorities, and the civility 
shown to them by these officials. They show clearly enough that 
Ripaud had imposed upon Tipti's credulity by leading him to 
believe that material assistance could be furnished from Mauritius, 
but they, naturally enough, concealed from their master the fact 
that he had been duped. 

M 2 




A NEW actor now appeared upon the scene. This 
was the justly-renowned Lord Mornington, who, with 
that keen instinct which is given to few, seized at 
a glance the real state of affairs, and by his judicious 
diplomacy and energetic action did more than any of 
his predecessors to place 'British power in India on 
a solid and sure foundation. He arrived at Madras 
just when Tipu's emissaries had come back from 
their fruitless expedition to Mauritius, and reached 
Calcutta in May, 1798. The next month he received 
intelligence of the Mysore embassy and Malartic's 
proclamation, and foreseeing that the aggressive 
tendency of the French Republic, then at war with all 
Europe, might impel it to send an army through 
Egypt to India, he adopted such precautionary 
measures as would prevent the native powers from 
coalescing with so formidable a rival. The first step 
in this direction was to negotiate with the Nizam for 
the dismissal of a French contingent amounting to 


14,000 men, well-disciplined and ably commanded 
by the officers that had succeeded De Bussy in the 
Deccan. These troops were not only a defence against 
the Mar^thas, but were hostile to the British, owing 
to the republican sympathies of their commander, 
M. Raymond, who carried on a secret correspondence 
with the Mysore sovereign. The Nizdm distrusted 
both the English and Tipii. If he assented to the 
Governor - General's proposals and disbanded his 
French troops, he would lose the power of effectual 
resistance against the Marathas, unless he leant on 
the support of the British Government, to whom he 
would in that case become subsidiary. If, on the 
other hand, he refused, and allied himself with Tipu, 
he would probably be overcome by the joint action 
of the two powers. On one side he regarded with 
apprehension the risk of disarming his French troops, 
and on the other the hostility of Tipu, with whom he 
had openly waged war, and whose advances towards 
a matrimonial alliance between the two sovereigns he 
had haughtily repelled. Swayed alternately by one 
or other of these considerations, it was long before the 
Nizam arrived at a decision. At last he consented to 
execute a treaty by which he agreed to disband his 
French troops, and to augment the English subsidiary 
force to six battalions and a due proportion of guns. 
The disarming was successfully effected, the Sepoys 
being taken into the English service, and the French 
officers sent, by way of England, to France. 

With the Marathas, Lord Mornington could not 


hope for much success. While nominally partici- 
pants in the treaty which Lord Cornwallis effected in 
1790, the Marathas had rendered little assistance in 
the first campaign. On the other hand, although 
Tipii had sent a special emissary to the Peshwa Baji 
Rao, adjuring him to get rid of Nana Farnavis, and 
urging an invasion of the Nizam's territory, he re- 
ceived in reply nothing but empty promises. Nana 
Farnavis though secretly hostile to the English, was 
too astute to relinquish his ascendancy over the 
Peshwa. He held aloof from any open recognition 
of either side, while Sindhia was averse from active 
military interference, striving only to prevent the 
Peshwa from giving full effect to the treaty of 1790. 
At the utmost, Lord Mornington could only expect, 
amidst these conflicting aims, that the Marathas 
would observe a strict neutrality. 

Fully aware of the danger which threatened the 
English from the ill-disguised hostility of Tipii. the 
Governor-General directed despatches to be sent 
early in June to the Madras Government, requesting 
them to consider the means of collecting a force 
should circumstances require it, and to state what 
number of men could be at once got together. The 
Madras Council vehemently remonstrated against any 
' premature ' attack upon the Mysore ruler, urging 
their disabled condition from the lack of supplies and 
draught-cattle, the low state of their finances, and 
previous failures. Even General Harris, the acting 
Governor, was to a great extent imbued with the 


same feeling. While expressing his readiness to 
carry out instructions, he deprecated hostilities which 
might end in discomfiture rather than in victory. 
Lord Mornington, however, was made of sterner metal. 
Knowing well how critical would be the state of 
affairs should a French expedition succeed in making 
its way from Egypt to India, he set aside these 
timorous objections, and insisted upon the Madras 
army being made ready for active operations, and put 
on a war- footing. On August 12, 1798, he recorded 
a minute in which, after adverting to Tipii's embassy 
to the Mauritius, and the clear proof of bad faith 
which it evinced, he remarked as follows : 

' Since the conclusion of the treaty of Seringapatam, the 
British Government in India have uniformly conducted 
themselves towards Tipu Sultan not only with the most 
exact attention to the principles of moderation, justice, and 
good faith, but have endeavoured by every practicable means 
to conciliate his confidence, and to mitigate his vindictive 
spirit. Some differences have occasionally arisen with respect 
to the boundaries of his territory bordering upon the confines 
of our possessions on the coast of Malabar, but the records of 
all the British Governments in India will show that they 
have always manifested the utmost anxiety to promote the 
amicable adjustment of every doubtful or disputed point, and 
that Tipu Sultan has received the most unequivocal proofs 
of the constant disposition of the Company to acknow- 
ledge and confirm all his just rights, and to remove every 
cause of jealousy, which might tend to interrupt the con- 
tinuance of peace.' 

Further on, in the same minute, after observing that 


the Sultan's motive could only have been 'an ardent 
desire to expel the British nation from India,' he 
remarked : 

' If the conduct of Tipu Sultdn had been of a nature 
which could be called ambiguous or suspicious; if he had 
merely increased his force beyond his ordinary establishment, 
or had stationed it in some position on our confines, or on 
those of our allies, which might justify jealousy or alarm ; 
if he had renewed his secret intrigues at the courts of 
Haidarabad, Poona, and Cabul ; or even if he had entered 
into any negotiation with France, of which the object was at 
all obscure; it might be our duty to resort in the first 
instance to his construction of proceedings which, being of 
a doubtful character, might admit of a satisfactory explana- 
tion. But where there is no doubt, there can be no matter 
for explanation. The act of Tipu's ambassadors, ratified 
by himself, and accompanied by the landing of a French 
force in his country, is a public, unqualified, and unam- 
biguous declaration of war, aggravated by an avowal, that 
the object of the war is neither explanation, reparation, nor 
security, but the total destruction of the British Government 
in India.' 

He concluded by saying- : 

' This therefore is not merely the case of an injury to be 
repaired, but of the public safety to be secured against the 
present and future designs of an irreconcilable, desperate, 
and treacherous enemy. Against an enemy of this descrip- 
tion no effectual security can be obtained, otherwise than by 
such a reduction of his power, as shall not only defeat his 
actual preparations, but establish a permanent restraint upon 
his future means of offence V 

1 Fuller details of this statesmanlike minute, and of the motives 


Lord Mornington, however, being averse from en- 
gaging unnecessarily in an expensive and uncertain 
campaign, had entered into a friendly correspondence 
with Tipii regarding certain claims preferred by that 
ruler to territory in Wainad (referred to in the first of 
the extracts above given), which, after due examina- 
tion into the facts, he ordered to be surrendered to 
the Sultan. In writing to Tipii on November 8, 
1798, Lord Mornington took the opportunity of re- 
ferring, but in an amicable way, to Tipii's endeavour 
to bring about an alliance with the French, notwith- 
standing his repeated expressions of friendship for the 
English. He suggested that, in order to remove all 
causes of distrust, Major Doveton should be deputed 
to explain the Governor- General's views, and to 
establish cordial relations for the future. No answer 
was received to this proposal l . Lord Mornington then 
addressed to Tipu a second communication, pointing 
out the desirability of considering promptly the re- 
quest made in his previous letter, and intimating that 
he was on the point of proceeding from Calcutta to 

On November 20, 1798, before the first of these 
letters had reached him, Tipii wrote expressing his 

which influenced the Governor- General's policy, will be found in 
Malleson's memoir of ' Wellesley. 1 

1 The contemptuous way in which Tipu treated some of the 
Governor-General's letters, till compelled by circumstances to 
answer them, is a well -ascertained fact. The writer remembers 
seeing one of these communications, which had been preserved in 
the family of one of the Sultan's chief officers, and on which Tipu 
had endorsed ' jawab na d^rad,' i. e. 'no answer.' 


astonishment that, in spite of his well-known friend- 
ship, the Governor- General meditated hostilities, add- 
ing that he discredited the report. On December 18 
he wrote again, signifying his gratification at the 
defeat in Aboukir Bay of the French, whom he 
characterized as 'faithless, and the enemies of man- 
kind.' But in regard to the proposed mission of 
Major Doveton, he evaded the suggestion, stating that 
existing treaties were sufficient. On January 9, 1799, 
Lord Mornington acknowledged the receipt of this 
communication, and recapitulated all the circum- 
stances which had come to his notice regarding Tipu's 
open acts of hostility, again pressing for the reception 
of Major Doveton. A week afterwards Lord Morn- 
ington forwarded to Tipii a ' khat ' from the Sublime 
Porte, in which Sultan Salim gave a full detail of 
the invasion of Egypt by the French, and stated that 
all true Musalmans were bound to repel their aggres- 
sions. Tipii was specially requested to refrain from 
hostile proceedings against the English, or from lend- 
ing a compliant ear to the French, and the Sublime 
Porte offered its good offices to adjust satisfactorily 
any cause of complaint. This important letter from 
the head of Islam was extremely disconcerting to the 
Mysore sovereign, who, on July 20, 1798, had addressed 
to the Executive Directory of the French Republic at 
Paris a despatch, soliciting an offensive and defensive 
alliance. Tipu sent as his ambassador Capitaine des 
Vaisseaux Dubuc. one of the two French officers who 
accompanied the small contingent forwarded from the 


Isle of France to his assistance. On February 7, 
1799, Monsieur Dubuc embarked at Tranquebar on 
his embassy. Yet Tipii, on the i6th of the same 
month, replied to the Sublime Porte in a grandilo- 
quent despatch, full of professions of unbounded 
devotion for the head of his faith, winding up the 
strange epistle by saying : 

' As the French nation are estranged from, and are become 
the opponents of the Sublime Porte, they may be said to 
have rendered themselves the enemy of all the followers of 
the faith. All Musalmans should renounce friendship with 

The above, however, was really only a pretended 
answer, intended to be forwarded through the 
Governor-General. In a separate communication, 
which Tipu forwarded by special means to Constan- 
tinople, he virulently attacked the English, as well 
as the French. 

' All Hindustan,' he wrote, ' is overrun with Infidels and 
Polytheists, except the dominions of the Khudadad Sirkar 
(the God-given State), which, like the ark of Noah, are safe 
under the protection and bounteous aid of God.' 

He proceeds to say that the English Governor- 
General (Lord Teignmouth) had caused Asaf-ud- 
daulah. the Nawab Vazir of Oudh, to be poisoned, 
had violated the chastity of his widow, and plundered 
his house of money and jewels to the amount of 
twenty crores of rupees. The wives and daughters 
of men of science and rank had been forcibly carried 


away by the English, and youthful descendants of 
the Prophet were compelled to eat the flesh of swine. 
He thus ended his tirade : 

'May the victorious banners of Islam ever prevail, and 
every trace of heresy and infidelity be swept away.' 

No better proof could be adduced of the duplicity 
of the Sultan. To the Governor-General he wrote 
in a letter received on February 13 : 

' As I am frequently going on sporting excursions, you had 
better send Major Doveton, regarding whom you have pre- 
viously addressed me, slightly attended V 

1 The actual Persian is 'jaridah rawanah byad s^kht,' which 
may mean slightly attended, or lightly equipped at any rate 
implying that he attached no importance to the mission. 



THIS insolent reply to Lord Mornington's overtures 
brought matters to a 'crisis. On February 22, 1799, 
the Governor-General issued a ' Declaration ' on the 
part of the East India Company and their allies the 
Nizam and the Peshwa, in which he recounted the 
studious good faith of the British Government, and 
their anxiety to meet in every way the Sultan's 
reasonable demands, adducing as evidence of this the 
surrender of the territory claimed by him in Wainad 
a concession which Tipu had himself admitted 
to be satisfactory. The document then goes on to 
relate the astonishment with which the allies dis- 
covered that, in spite of this evidence of their sincere 
adherence to the treaty of 1790, the Sultan had 
entered into negotiations with a hostile power for 
the purpose of commencing a war against the 
Company and the Allied Powers. It dwells upon 
the persistent delay on Tipu's part to receive an envoy 
to adjust existing grievances, and points out that 


this procrastination can only be attributed to his 
evident desire to protract the operations ' until some 
change of circumstance and of season shall revive 
his expectations of disturbing the tranquillity of 
India, by favouring the irruption of a French army.' 
The proclamation ends by saying that although the 
allies were resolved to ensure adequate protection 
against the danger which menaced them, they were 
still anxious to effect a friendly arrangement with 
the Sultan ; and that General Harris, the Commander- 
in-Chief, had been empowered to receive any embassy 
which Tipu might despatch to headquarters to concert 
a treaty on such conditions as would lead to the 
establishment of a secure and permanent peace. A 
letter to like effect was on the same day transmitted 
to Tipu. 

Although the 'Sultan's army was both smaller and 
inferior in discipline at this time, compared with 
what it was in 1792, it still amounted to about 
33,000 infantry, 15,000 cavalry, and a strong body 
of artillery. The English army, which left Vellore on 
February n for the Mysore frontier, comprised 15,000 
infantry, 2,600 cavalry, 600 European artillerymen, 
and 2,500 gun-lascars and pioneers, with 100 guns. 
To these must be added an efficient contingent from 
the Nizam, consisting of 6,500 of the subsidiary 
force, and 3,600 of the old French corps, with 6,000 
horse, regular and irregular, bringing the total 
number of the united armies up to about 37,000 
fighting men. Further, the army despatched from 


Bombay under General Stuart amounted to 6,400 
men, who, marching through the friendly country 
of Coorg, took up a position at the head of the 
Siddheshwar Pass, leading from that province into 
Mysore. On March 5, 1799, the Sultan, hearing of 
the approach of the Bombay force, suddenly made 
his appearance a few miles from Siddheshwar. 
Having drawn up his troops amounting to 12,000 
men in three divisions, he marched under cover of the 
heavy jungle to attack the British advanced post 
of three battalions of Sepoys under the command 
of Lieutenant-Colonel Montresor. This brigade was 
completely surrounded, and would have been annihi- 
lated had it not been for the opportune arrival of 
General Stuart. The enemy then gave way and 
retreated, after losing many men, and one distin- 
guished general, named Muhammad Raza, commonly 
called the Benki Nawab or Fire-Nawab 1 . General 
Stuart was accompanied on this occasion by Viraraj, 
the Wodiar of Coorg, who had rendered every assist- 
ance in his power to the British troops, and was 
present personally in the action. 

Tipii now prepared to encounter the British army 
under General Harris, which had left Vellore, as 
mentioned, on February u, and after reducing some 

1 The word ' Benki ' in Kanarese literally means ' fire,' but 
signified in this case a man who carried fire and desolation into an 
enemy's country. It is stated of him that on one occasion he shut 
up certain rebellious Nairs, with their wives and children, in 
a house, and burned them alive. Muhammad Raza's descendants 
still reside in Mysore. 


minor posts in the Baramahals, had reached on 
March 9 Kellamangalam in Mysore. It was joined 
there by the Haidarabad contingent under Colonel 
Wellesley, and proceeded to an encampment near 
Bangalore. The progress made by it was very slow, 
owing to the multitude of camp-followers and cattle, 
which greatly impeded the march. Tipii had taken 
up a position near Maddiir, half-way between 
Bangalore and Seringapatam, but Lord Harris having 
determined to take the southerly route by Kankan- 
halli, Tipu proceeded to encounter him near Malvalli, 
ten miles west of the Shimsha river. On March 27 
the British army marched to this place and found 
the Mysore troops drawn up two miles from their 
intended encampment. Our advanced pickets were 
soon threatened by large bodies of cavalry, and 
when a corps was sent up to their support a general 
action ensued. Though Tipu's horse made a gallant 
attack, and his finest infantry advanced firmly against 
the 33rd regiment, they were charged with the bayonet 
and driven back in confusion. The English cavalry 
completed their rout, and destroyed nearly all of 
them. Tipu then withdrew his guns and troops, 
having lost 1,000 men killed and wounded in the 
engagement, while the British loss was trifling. 

The mistake of Tipu in supposing that the British 
army would take the direct road from Bangalore to 
Seringapatam, and attack that place from the north, 
as Lord Cornwallis had done in 1792, was of immense 
service to Lord Harris. Under this anticipation, 


Tipu had ordered the destruction of all forage on 
the more direct route, which he held in force. But 
the English general, by marching to the south and 
crossing the Kaveri at Sosile', not only found ample 
fodder, but effected the passage of the ford without 
opposition. He was now within fifteen miles of 
Seringapatam, and Tipu found out that all his efforts 
to prevent the enemy from reaching within striking 
distance of his capital had been completely frustrated. 
He then consulted his leading officers as to the best 
course to pursue, and, according to their advice, 
resolved to give battle near the Chendgal ford, by 
which they calculated that the British force would 
cross over to the island of Seringapatam. All his 
Sardars vowed to sacrifice their lives if necessary 
in the expected combat, and Tipu sending his two 
eldest sons into the fort to defend it to the last, 
crossed the river with his army to take up a position 
at Chendgal to meet the expected foe. To his dismay, 
however, he found that the British commander, in- 
stead of proceeding to the right as he had anticipated, 
deviated to the left, in order to avoid some inter- 
vening low ground. On April 3 our force reached the 
position in which General Abercromby had encamped 
in 1792, on the south-west side of the island. 

During the time which had intervened since Lord 
Cornwallis' siege of Seringapatam, the Sultan had 
given great attention to strengthening the fortifica- 
tions. But. excepting a battery which he had erected 
on the north-west angle of the fort, his improvements 



had been mainly directed to the south and east sides. 
The works on the west side where the wall overlooks 
the K&veri were not so strong, although even here 
they were protected by a double wall and a ditch. 
In front of the British army was broken rising 
ground, with some deserted villages, and several 
topes Or groves of areca-nut palms and cocoa trees, 
which afforded a safe cover to Tipu's skirmishers 
and rocket-men, and enabled them to harass the 
English pickets. One of these groves, called the 
Sultanpet Tope, was intersected by deep ditches, 
watered from a channel running in an easterly direc- 
tion about a mile from the fort. General Baird was 
directed to scour this grove and dislodge the enemy, 
but on his advancing with this object on the night 
of the 5th, he found the tope unoccupied. The 
next day, however, the Mysore troops again took 
possession of the ground, and as it was absolutely 
necessary to expel them, two columns were detached 
at sunset for the purpose. The first of these, under 
Colonel Shawe, got possession of a ruined village, 
which it successfully held. The second column, 
under Colonel Wellesley, on advancing into the tope, 
was at once attacked in the darkness of night by 
a tremendous fire of musketry and rockets. The 
men, floundering about amidst the trees and the 
water-courses, at last broke, and fell back in dis- 
order, some being killed and a few taken prisoners. 
In the confusion Colonel Wellesley was himself struck 
on the knee by a spent ball, and narrowly escaped 


falling into the hands of the enemy l . The next day, 
however, a detachment under his command succeeded 
in taking possession of the grove, and General Harris 
was enabled to proceed with his siege-operations, the 
army taking up its final position on April 7, 1 799. 

On the 9th, the Sultan, alarmed at the state of 
affairs, sent an agent to the English general's camp 
with a letter, inquiring the meaning of the hostile 
proceedings against him, and asserting his own 
adherence to existing treaties. General Harris in 
his reply contented himself with referring Tipu to 
Lord Morning-ton's letter of February 22, and con- 
tinued to prosecute the siege. On April 14, the 
Bombay army joined the headquarters with abun- 
dant supplies, and two days afterwards took up 
a strong position on the northern bank of the Kaveri. 
During the ensuing week, numerous batteries were 
erected, several important outposts were seized, and 
a determined attack by a strong body of infantry, 
led by French officers 2 , against the advanced posts of 
the Bombay army, was repulsed with great loss. 

On the 2oth, Tipu again expressed a wish for 
a conference to adjust the terms of a peace. General 
Harris, acting on the plenary powers with which he 

1 This grove, which has an historical interest, as being one of 
the very few places where the famous Duke met with a repulse, 
may still be seen in the vicinity of Seringapatam. A more 
detailed account of the disaster will be found in The Life of Sir 
David Baird. For accurate details of the siege itself, the reader is 
referred to Colonel A. Beatson's work, published in 1800. 

2 The whole number of French at this time in the Sultan's 
service was only 120, including 20 officers. 

N 2 


had been entrusted, forwarded the draft of a pre- 
liminary treaty for his acceptance. This document 
stipulated that the Sultan should at once dismiss all 
Frenchmen in his service ; that he should cede half 
his territory to the allies ; pay two millions sterling, 
half immediately, and the remainder in six months ; 
release all his prisoners ; and finally make over as 
hostages two of his eldest sons 1 , besides four of his 
chief officers, whose names were given. A term of 
twenty-four hours only was allowed for the Sultan's 
assent to these conditions. No answer was received 
to these demands, and the siege being uninter- 
ruptedly proceeded with, all the guns on the west 
face of the fort were silenced by the 24th. The west 
cavalier and north-west bastion were dismantled, and 
the fire of the enemy was reduced to a few guns on 
the south face, and some distant cavaliers. On the 
26th and 27th hard fighting took place, in order to 
dislodge the Mysore troops from an exterior entrench- 
ment still held by them, which impeded the erection 
of breaching batteries, and was protected on one 
side by a redoubt, and on the other by a circular 
work that afforded a flanking defence. After an 
obstinate contest, in which the enemy behaved with 
great bravery, all these obstacles were carried, and 
the Mysore troops were forced to retreat beyond the 

1 In the letter to Tipu of April 22, four sons are mentioned, 
namely, Sultan Padshah, Fatah Haidar, Moiz-ud-din, and Abd-ul- 


The Sultan, now in despair, again attempted to 
open negotiations, and on the a8th wrote intimating 
his wish to send ambassadors to confer with the 
English general. He was told in reply that the allies 
would only treat on the basis of the conditions 
already forwarded to him, and that no envoys would 
be received unless accompanied by the hostages and 
specie required. This was the end of Tipii's abortive 
attempts to avert the ruin which was about to befall 
him l . 

On May 2, all the batteries having been completed 
were unmasked. They opened a heavy fire on the 
western curtain of the fort, about sixty yards south- 
east of the bastion on the western angle, and a prac- 
ticable breach having been effected on the evening of 
the next day, orders were issued for an assault at 
i p.m. on the 4th. Tipii, a prey to despair in the 
imminent peril which threatened him, condescended, 
in spite of his orthodox Islamism, to have recourse to 
the prayers and incantations of the Brahmans whom 
he had hitherto invariably despised and ill-treated. 
But although he heaped rich gifts upon them, they 
were either too honest or too wise to predict a suc- 
cessful escape from the fate which was following him. 
Dressed in a light-coloured jacket, with trousers of 
fine chintz, a red silk sash, a rich turban, .and an 

1 It was about this time that thirteen English soldiers, who had 
been taken prisoners, were killed by the Sultan's orders, their 
necks being twisted by the professional executioners called Jettis, 
the native gladiators of the south of India. 


embroidered belt, with a talisman on his right arm, 
he proceeded early on the 4th to his headquarters in 
a gateway on the northern face, called the Kalla 
Diddi, or private sally -port. Shortly after his arrival 
at this post, he was informed of the death from 
a cannon-shot of Sayyad Ghafur, one of his most 
trusty officers, who was struck down while gallantly 
heading the troops in the breach. Soon afterwards 
a report was brought to him of the actual assault. 

The command of the storming party had been 
entrusted to General Baird, the same officer who had 
languished for more than three years in the dungeons 
of Seringapatam, having been taken prisoner after 
Baillie's defeat at Perambakam in 1780. This gallant 
soldier, full of energy and animated by the recol- 
lection of the ill-usage to which he and his com- 
panions in arms had been ruthlessly subjected, 
stepped out of the trenches, and drawing his sword, 
called out to his men : ' Now, my brave fellows, follow 
me, and prove yourselves worthy of the name of 
British soldiers.' In an instant, his troops rushed 
forward, and crossed the river in six minutes, under 
a tremendous fire of musketry and rockets from the 
enemy. The forlorn hope was confronted on the 
slope of the breach by a small body of the Mysore 
troops who offered a determined opposition, but they 
were soon struck down, and in a few minutes the 
British flag was hoisted on the ramparts. The Sultan 
hastened towards the breach, and endeavoured to 
rally his soldiers, encouraging them to make a stand. 


He repeatedly fired on the assailants, but the rapid 
approach of the English column, and the desertion of 
his followers, compelled him to retreat. The greater 
part of the English troops had proceeded along the 
ramparts, filing off to the right and left, in obedience 
to orders, but a portion of the I2th regiment pressed 
forward into the town, and, keeping along the inside 
of the rampart, found themselves opposite the sally- 
port, through which the Sultan proposed returning. 
On his arriving at a bridge leading to the inner fort, 
he mounted his horse, and endeavoured to enter the 
town, but on reaching the gate the passage was so 
crowded by fugitives that he was unable to pass. 

While his progress was thus hampered, his pursuers 
fired into the gateway, and wounded him in the 
breast. He pushed on, however, but was stopped by 
the fire of the soldiers of the I2th regiment from 
inside the gate, receiving a second wound in the 
right side, while his horse fell under him. He was 
immediately raised by some of his faithful attendants, 
and placed in his palankeen under an arch in the 
gateway. He was implored to make himself known 
to the English troops, from whose commanders he 
would no doubt have received the attention due to 
his rank, but he absolutely refused to comply with 
the suggestion. Soon afterwards some European 
soldiers entered the gateway, one of whom attempted 
to take off his richly-jewelled sword-belt, when Tipii, 
sorely wounded as he was, made a cut at the man, 
and wounded him in the knee. The enraged soldier 


levelled his musket and shot him in the head, causing 
instantaneous death. A considerable time elapsed 
before any authentic intelligence of the Sultan's fate 
was obtained ; but the British troops being now in 
possession of every part of the ramparts, and opposi- 
tion having ceased, General Baird proceeded to make 
inquiries as to what had become of him. 

Major Allan, Deputy Quartermaster-General, was 
accordingly sent to the palace with a flag of truce to 
demand the surrender of Tipu, and after some 
delay ascertained that a report had been received 
there that he had been wounded at the gate above- 
mentioned. On repairing thither at dusk, the body 
of the Sultan was, after much labour, discovered in 
a heap of slain, and clearly identified. It was still 
warm, and the eyes were open, the countenance being 
in no way distorted, although there were three 
wounds in the body and one in the temple. His 
turban, jacket, and sword-belt had disappeared, but 
the talisman on his right arm, containing an amulet 
with Arabic characters on the manuscript inside, 
was at once recognized. The body was placed in his 
palankeen, and, by General Baird's orders, conveyed 
to the palace for the night. 

The next day the funeral cortege, escorted by four 
companies of Europeans, proceeded from the fortress 
to the Lai Bagh, where the remains of the ambitious 
and unfortunate sovereign were interred by the side 
of his father, Haidar Ali. The bier was borne by his 
personal attendants, and followed by Prince Abd-ul- 


Khalik and the principal officers of the court, the 
streets through which the procession passed being 
crowded by Musalma'ns, who prostrated themselves, 
and evinced every sign of grief. On reaching the 
gate of the mausoleum the troops presented arms, the 
Kazi read the funeral service, and when the body 
had been deposited in the tomb, a donation of 1 2,000 
rupees was made to the religious men and poor 
people who attended the obsequies. It is related 
that the solemnity of the ceremony was enhanced by 
terrific claps of thunder which burst over the island 
immediately afterwards. 

The sons of the late Sultan were made prisoners, 
and such of them as had arrived at maturity were 
sent with their families to Vellore, whence some 
years afterwards, owing to their having been accused 
of instigating the troops to . mutiny in 1 806, they 
were transported to Calcutta. Many persons still 
remember the venerable Prince Ghulam Muhammad, 
one of the younger sons, who died a few years ago. 
He was greatly respected as a Justice of Peace, and 
for his hospitality and charity. One of his last acts 
was to establish a fund for poor and deserving 
persons in Mysore. 

To the honour of General Baird it must be men- 
tioned that, mainly owing to his humane efforts, 
there was little effusion of blood after Seringapatam 
was taken, notwithstanding the prolonged resistance 
and his remembrance of his own sufferings. Safe- 
guards were sent to the houses of all the principal 


chiefs, who, finding that their property and the 
honour of their families were respected, readily sub- 
mitted to the conquerors. Steps were also taken to 
secure the property in the palace, but the discovery 
of a private entrance into the treasury enabled 
marauders to carry off a vast amount of coin and 
jewellery before they could be stopped. Never- 
theless, what remained was of priceless value. 
A magnificent throne, a superb howdah, curious and 
richly -jewelled matchlocks and swords, solid gold 
and silver plate, costly carpets and china ware, a pro- 
fusion of fine gems, and a valuable library, were 
among the treasures found in the palace 1 . 

In this memorable siege no fewer than 8,000 of the 
Mysore troops are said to have perished. On the 
British side, 892 Europeans were killed or wounded, 
of whom 65 were officers, and of the native troops 

1 The specie alone amounted to sixteen lacs of pagodas, or 
480,000, while the jewels were valued at nine lacs. The total 
number of ordnance captured was 929, including guns, mortars, 
and howitzers, 176 of which were twelve-pounders and over. The 
library contained many curious and interesting manuscripts, of 
which the following is a summary : Koran, 44 vols. ; Commentaries 
on Koran, 41 ; Prayers, 35 ; Traditions, 46 ; Theology, 46 ; Sufyism 
(mystic writings), 115; Ethics, 24; Jurisprudence, 95; Arts and 
Sciences, 19 ; Philosophy, 54 ; Astronomy, 20 ; Mathematics, 7 ; 
Physic, 62 ; Philology, 45 ; Lexicography, 29 ; History, 1 18 ; 
Letters, 53 ; Poetry, 190 ; Hindi and Deccani Poetry, 23 ; Hindi 
and Deccani Prose, 4 ; Turkish Prose, 2 ; Fables, 18. Some of 
these books belonged to the Kings of Bijapur and Golconda, but 
the majority were plundered at Chittur, Savanur, and Kadapa. 
With the exception of one precious Koran, which was forwarded 
to Windsor Castle, the greater part of this library was transferred 
to the newly-founded College at Fort William, Calcutta. 


639. Estimating the total number of Europeans 
engaged (including two regiments with the Bombay 
army) at about 7,ooo, and the native troops (exclu- 
sive of the Nizam's contingent) at 20,000, this would 
show that the proportionate loss in the ranks of the 
former was about four times that in the native troops. 
The fact may be attributed in great measure to the 
heavy loss among the Europeans in the actual assault. 
It is not within the scope of this narrative to 
detail the steps taken by Lord Mornington after the 
fall of Seringapatam. It may perhaps suffice to say 
that they evinced in an uncommon degree political 
sagacity, sound judgment, and generosity. The 
claims of our allies, the Nizam and the Marathas, 
were duly considered. To revive a hostile power in 
the person of one of Tipu's sons was clearly inadvis- 
able, and the question therefore arose as to how to 
dispose of the conquered territory. The solution 
which the Governor- General arrived at was to divide 
part of the Sultan's dominions between the allies. 
The British Government received a territory yielding 
537,000 Kanthirai pagodas l , and including all the 
western coast, while to the Nizdm were allotted 

1 These pagodas were originally struck by Raja Kanthirai 
(1638-58), six of them equalling five star pagodas. The native 
name for this coin is 'varaha,' or 'boar,' one of the incarnations 
of Vishnu, which was the crest of some of the older Mysore 
dynasties. The word pagoda is a Portuguese name for the coin, 
and a supposed corruption of the Persian ' but-kadah,' an idol 
temple, many of the pagodas showing a temple on the obverse face. 
[But see Jule's Glossary for a discussion of its possible derivations.] 
The intrinsic value is about three rupees. 


districts producing a like amount, and to the Peshwa 
districts yielding 264,000 pagodas. The remainder of 
the late ruler's possessions, with a revenue estimated 
at 1,374,100 pagodas, and exceeding in area the whole 
Mysore kingdom when Haidar Ali usurped the rule 
in 1761, was bestowed as a free gift on the infant 
son of the last Mysore Raja, Chamraj, who died in j 796, 
on condition that an annual subsidy of seven lacs of 
star pagodas should be paid to the British Govern- 
ment, that a general control over the affairs of 
Mysore should be exercised by a Resident at his court, 
and that the island of Seringapatam should be ceded 
to the British Government in perpetuity. These 
liberal conditions were gratefully acknowledged by 
the widow of Chikka Krishnaraj and the widow of 
Chamraj in the following letter, dated June 24, 1 799 : 

' Your having conferred on our child the government of 
Mysore, Nagar, and their dependencies, and appointed 
Purnaiya to be the Diwan, has afforded us the greatest 
happiness. Forty years have elapsed since our government 
ceased. Now you have favoured our boy with the govern- 
ment of this country, and nominated Purnaiya to be his 
Diwau. We shall, while the sun and moon continue, commit 
no offence against your government. We shall at all times 
consider ourselves as under your protection and orders. 
Your having established us must for ever be fresh in the 
memory of our posterity, from one generation to another. 
Our offspring can never forget an attachment to your 
government, on whose support we shall depend. 



The youthful Kajd was accordingly duly installed, 
and after a long reign, the latter part of which was 
embittered by the consciousness of sovereign duties 
but ill performed, died in 1868, deeply regretted by 
all who knew his kindly but somewhat facile cha- 
racter. The Commissioners appointed to carry out 
the Governor-General's instructions allotted hand- 
some pensions to the Sultan's principal officers, who 
testified in lively terms their appreciation of this 
wholly unexpected generosity. 

To an Englishman few places in India are more 
replete with interesting historical associations than 
Seringapatam. At the extreme eastern end of the 
island is the famous mausoleum of Haidar All. where 
also repose the remains of his ill-starred son. The 
tomb stands on a raised terrace at the end of an 
avenue of cypress trees, with an arcade all round it, 
and a mosque on the right-hand side. It is a square 
building, surmounted by a dome, and supported by 
polished black marble columns, which are very hand- 
some, all the rest being pure white, and adorned with 
fine carvings. The doors are of ebony, inlaid with 
ivory (the gift of Lord Dalhousie), and at the prin- 
cipal entrance hangs a scarlet curtain embroidered 
with gold. Inside are the two tombs of Haidar 
and Tipti, each of them covered by a splendid 
Kashmir shawl, worked in rich patterns. Peacocks' 
feathers and other insignia of royalty lie about on 
the floor, while incense is burnt in a niche. The 
building is maintained at the Government expense. 


Although not so striking as the famous mausoleums 
to be seen in Upper India and at Ahmadabad and 
elsewhere, it is a fine monument. It presents a sad 
contrast to the graves of the English officers and men 
who fell at Seringapatam, and who are laid in an 
adjacent cemetery, the ground overgrown by weeds, 
and the names on the ugly flat stones barely dis- 
tinguishable 1 . 

On the southern side of the left branch of the 
Kaveri, and midway between the Lai Bagh and the 
fort, is the picturesque Darya D^ulat Bagh, or ' garden 
of the wealth of the sea,' for many months the 
residence of England's greatest soldier (the Duke 
of Wellington). It was a favourite resort of Tipii, 
being near the fortress, and is of elegant design. 
The walls inside are covered with richly-painted 
arabesques, while outside are a seiies of frescos 
representing the triumphs of Tipii over the English. 
The most remarkable of these designs is intended 
to delineate the defeat of Baillie at Perambakam, 
and is a most amusing caricature, that General being 
shown reclining helplessly in a palankeen, while 
Tipu on horseback is calmly smelling a rose and 
giving orders to his troops. The perspective is 
ludicrous legs, arms, and heads flying off in all 

1 The writer made an attempt to remedy the neglect to which 
these memorials had been exposed. But the lapse of time and 
the effects of an Indian climate, added to the rough character of 
the tombstones and the difficulty of identifying the names on 
them, rendered any real restoration well-nigh impossible. 


directions, and considerable research is needed to 
find the corresponding bodies. These frescos were 
effaced by Tipu before the siege, but restored by 
Colonel Wellesley when he inhabited the building. 
In course of time they again became hardly recog- 
nizable, when Lord Dalhousie, on his visit to Mysore 
in 1854, ordered them to be repainted by a native 

The old fortress of Seringapatam remains in much 
the same state as it was left in after the siege 
nearly a hundred years ago. The formidable fortifica- 
tions have stoutly withstood the ravages of time, 
while the breach made in the curtain is still visible 
from the opposite bank of the river, where two 
cannons fixed in the ground denote the spot on which 
the English batteries were erected. Inside is shown 
the gateway on the northern face where Tipu fell 
in his death-struggle. The whole island is now 
insalubrious. A few wretched houses only remain 
where once was a great capital, and the ancient 
temple of Vishnu looks down, as if in mockery, 
on the ruins of the palace of the Muhammadan 
usurper l . 

1 Part of the building has been demolished, and the rest turned 
into a sandal-wood store. 



THE character of Tipii stands out in marked 
contrast to that of his more celebrated father. 
Personal courage he certainly possessed, and he is 
said to have been a good rider and a skilful marks- 
man. Although deficient in the capacity for war 
which eminently distinguished Haidar, he on several 
occasions showed considerable skill in strategy: for 
example, in his success over Colonel Braithwaite, 
his campaign against the Marathas in 1786, his 
many encounters with General Medows, and his rapid 
movements in South Arcot. Had he trusted more 
to his cavalry as his most efficient mode of attack, 
he might have obtained greater successes in the field 
than he actually secured, but his overweening con- 
fidence in his own generalship and knowledge of 
tactics was often the cause of disaster and defeat to 
his armies. 

It has already been mentioned that in 1786 Tipu 
assumed the title of Padshah or King, and in 
referring to his own person began to call himself 


' the resplendent presence,' and ' our prosperous 
person,' while his army was denoted as 'the holy 
camp.' The same inflated ideas of his royal dignity 
appear in the titles which he gave to his govern- 
ment, such as 'the God-given state,' 'the Lion of 
God government,' ' the Haidari rule,' &c. But he 
was very chary of bestowing titular honours on his 
own chief officials, whose respectful salutations he 
never deigned to acknowledge. In addressing even 
great foreign potentates, such as the King of France, 
he used expressions only suitable when writing to 
an inferior. The climax of his arrogance was reached 
when he ordered the ' Khutbah,' or daily prayer in 
the mosques, to be read in his own name, instead 
of that of the Mughal Emperor. 

He had a rage for innovations, and was constantly 
changing the names of places, and altering well- 
established customs. To natives of India who, like 
most Orientals, delight to ' stand in the old paths,' 
many of the changes introduced by the English, 
though in themselves generally beneficial and often 
laudable, are distasteful in the extreme. The fanciful 
innovations of Tipii were the effect of mere caprice. 
He must needs alter the territorial divisions of his 
dominions, calling the coast districts the ' Yam Suba.' 
the ancient Malnad the 'Taran Siiba,' and the plain 
country the ' Ghabra Suba.' 

In like manner innumerable changes were made in 
the names of places, the town of Devanhalli, where 
he was born, being called Yusafabad, the abode of 



Joseph, the fairest of men. Chitaldnig was changed 
to Farukh-yab Hisar, or the ' propitiously -acquired 
castle ; ' Gtitti to Faiz Hisar, or the ' citadel of grace,' 
and so forth ; but, as may be supposed, all these 
places have relapsed into their old names. Measures 
of distance too were amended, the kos or Indian 
two-miles being now defined as consisting of so many 
yards of twice twenty-four thumb-breadths, because 
the creed (Kalmah) contains twenty-four letters. The 
kos thus fixed was 2f miles, and if the letter-carriers 
did not travel this distance in 33! minutes they were 
to be flogged. All the names of weights and measures 
were altered. But the most wonderful of his improve- 
ments was his new method of calculating time. As 
is well known, the Hindus counted time in cycles of 
60 years, each year having a separate name, a system 
which makes their chronology somewhat difficult to 
unravel. Tipii founded a new calendar on this basis, 
giving however fantastic names to the years, and 
equally strange ones to the lunar months. The year, 
according to his arrangement, only contained 354 
days, and each month was called by some name in 
alphabetical order. From the year 1784, all his 
letters were dated according to the day of one or 
other of the months in this new nomenclature. 

It may be remarked that his pen was most prolific, 
and that he condescended to write to his officials, 
both civil and military, detailed instructions on every 
conceivable matter, whether the question before him 
related to military operations, general regulations, 


or even petty trading. He pronounced decided 
opinions on science, medicine, commerce, religious 
observances, engineering, military establishments, and 
a host of abstruse matters with equal facility, but 
with little real knowledge 1 . He seems to have 
written Persian with tolerable readiness, signing his 
name generally in a device or cryptogram, meaning 
'Nabbi Malik,' or 'the Prophet is Master 2 .' He 
was assiduous in his correspondence, and had little 
leisure for pastimes. He wrote to a certain Tarbiyat 
Ali Khan, ' That great person ' (used here con- 
temptuously for the correspondent addressed) 'eats 
two or three times a day, sits at his ease, and 
amuses himself with talk, whereas we are occupied 
from morning to night with business.' There can 
be no doubt about his business habits, and his 

1 Tipu laid claim to universal knowledge, but was certainly 
eclipsed by the famous Dane, Archbishop Absalon, who died in 
1 202. This really accomplished man was Prime Minister, Com- 
mander-in-Chief, Lord High Admiral, and was versed in all kinds 
of learning. He was an excellent adviser to his King, and 
employed his spare moments in chopping billets of wood. Of. 
Holberg's Dannemark's Historic, vol. i. p. 186. 

2 The writer possesses an order of his dated a d Bahari of the 
year Shadab, 1226, Maulud, that is, the birth of Muhammad (not 
the era of the Flight or Hijri\ but it is probable that this newly- 
formed era really had reference to the period when the Prophet 
first announced himself as the messenger of God. The order in 
question bears the signature, ' Nabbi Malik.' Another order with 
the same signature has also on it a square seal with the impression 
' Tipu Sultan.' It has been said that the title of Fatah Ali Khan 
was bestowed upon him by the Emperor Shah Alam, but the 
writer is not aware whether he made use of this in his official 

O 1 


correspondence was registered with great regularity 
and precision, judging from the records found at 

One of Tipii's flights of fancy was the issue of a 
new coinage bearing on the obverse 'the faith of 
Ahmad (Muhammad) is proclaimed to the world 
by the victories of Haidar struck in Patan 
(Seringapatam) in the year Jalii or 1199 Hijri:' 
and on the reverse 'He (either God or Tipu?) is 
the only Sultan, the just one the third of Bahari 
in the year Jalu, and third of the reign.' He had 
the audacity to send an offering of these coins, in 
which, contrary to received usage, the name of the 
Emperor was studiously omitted, to Shah Alam. 
When he found that the Great Mughal took offence 
at the inscription, he pretended that he had merely 
sent the coins in order to ascertain His Majesty's 
pleasure about them, and offered an apology for the 

As he claimed an intimate acquaintance with all 
military matters, he compiled a code called ' The 
Triumphs of Holy Warriors,' a work in eighteen 
chapters. Minute instructions are given in it for 
guidance regarding manual exercises, the duties of 
all grades of officers, night attacks, fighting in 
a wooded country or on plains, salutes on special 
occasions, military guards, furlough, desertions, and 
so forth. According to an ordinance (Hukmnamah) 
issued by the Sultan in 1793, the 'Piadah Askar,' or 
regular infantry, then comprised five Kachahris or 


divisions, and twenty-seven Kashuns 1 or regiments, 
each Kashun containing 1,392 men (of whom 1,056 
carried muskets) with a suitable staff, combatant 
and non-combatant. A Jauk, or company of rocket- 
men, was attached to each Kashiin, and also two 
guns. The cavalry force was divided into three 
establishments (j) Regular Cavalry, (2) Silahdars, 
who provided their own horses, and (3) Kazzaks, or 
Predatory Cavalry. Of these the first, called ' Sawar 
Askar,' comprised three Kachahris or divisions, con- 
sisting each of six Mokabs or regiments of 376 troopers. 
The Silahdars mustered 6,000 horse, and the Kazzaks 

Nor did the necessity for maintaining a fleet escape 
the vigilant eye of Tipu Sultan. His ordinance on 
the subject, although merely a paper edict which was 
never carried into effect, is not a little curious. In 
1796 a Board of Admiralty, consisting of eleven 
persons, was nominated under the appellation of 
Mir Yam, or sea-lords, under whom were to be 
thirty Mir Bahar or commanders of the fleet. The 
navy was to consist of twenty line- of- battle ships, 
and twenty large frigates, of which six of each class 
were to be stationed at Jamalabad or Mangalore, 
seven of each at Wajidabad near the Mirjan creek, 

1 The word Kashun or Kshun, though adopted into the Persian 
language, is apparently derived from the Sanskrit ' Akshauhini,' 
but had formerly a much more extended signification. The 
' Kshuns ' mentioned in the Mahabharata, each comprised 2,730 
elephants, 2,730 chariots, 7,290 horsemen, and 12,150 foot. 


and seven at Majidabad or Sadashivgarh. The line- 
of-battle ships were divided into first and second 
class. The former were to mount seventy-two guns, 
the latter sixty-two of three different classes of 
calibre, while the frigates were to carry forty-six 
guns. The Sultan kindly sent a model to the 
Admiralty Board for their guidance in building the 
ships, ordering them to have copper bottoms, and 
prescribing where the timber for them was to be 
cut. Minute details were furnished as to the com- 
plement of the ships, and the pay of all grades. 
It was amusingly ordered that twenty of the Mir 
Bahar, or those highest in rank, were to receive a 
horse allowance, and that when the Mir Yarn visited 
the fleet, they should get a specially good dinner, 
with fruit, at the expense of the Government. This 
grand scheme for creating a navy came to nothing. 
Before the ships could be built the Sultan's rule was 

Tipii showed his orthodoxy as a good Musalman 
in strictly prohibiting the sale of intoxicating drinks. 
Although his method of proceeding was somewhat 
arbitrary, and he cared little about 'local option,' 
it must be admitted that in this department 
he showed himself a sensible reformer. He did 
indeed permit M. Lally to open one shop in his 
camp for the vending of spirituous liquors, but he 
firmly restricted the use of it to the French soldiers 
in his service. In writing to the local official at 
Bangalore in 1787, Tipu directed him to take written 


engagements from both the vendors and distillers of 
intoxicating drinks to give up their profession and 
take to some other occupation. Similar orders were 
issued throughout his territory. 

In 1786 he issued a remarkable proclamation, 
calling upon all true believers to ' extract the cotton 
of negligence from the ears of their understanding,' 
and, quitting the territories of apostates 1 and un- 
believers, to take refuge in his dominions, where, 
by the Divine blessing, they would be better provided 
for than before, and their lives, honour, and property 
remain under the protection of God. He was resolved 
that the worthless and stiff-necked infidels, who had 
turned aside their heads from obedience to the true 
faith, and openly raised the standard of unbelief, 
should be chastised by the hands of the faithful, 
and made either to acknowledge the true religion or 
to pay tribute. As, owing to the imbecility of the 
princes of Hind, that insolent race (presumably the 
English) had conceived the futile opinion that true 
believers had become weak, mean, and contemptible, 
and had overrun and laid waste the territories of 
Musalmans, extending the hand of violence and 
injustice on the property and honour of the faithful, 
he had resolved to prosecute a holy war against 
them. This virulent tirade, although its dissemina- 

1 He professed to regard the Nizam as an apostate, because he 
had at various times sided with the English and the Marathas, 
and did not hesitate to apply abusive epithets to him, such as 
' barber ' and ' son of a worthless mother.' 


tion was at first confined to his own dominions, 
was afterwards transmitted by his orders to various 
places in the Nizam's territory, with the object of 
inducing all true believers to join his standard, and 
to aid him in exterminating the English from India. 
In writing to the Mughal Emperor in the previous 
year he said : 

' This steadfast believer, with a view to the support of the 
firm religion of Muhammad, undertook the chastisement of 
the Nazarene tribe, who, unable to maintain the war I waged 
against them, solicited peace in the most abject manner. 
With the divine aid and blessing of God, it is now again my 
steady determination to set about the total extirpation and 
destruction of the enemies of the faith.' 

He apparently took little heed about disguising his 
real sentiments, although at the same time carrying 
on a professedly amicable correspondence with the 
English Government. But of his habitual duplicity 
there are ample proofs. For example, when his 
troops were besieging the fort of Nargiind. previously 
mentioned, he instructed his commander Biirhan-ud- 
din to temporize, and employ every means, ' fair or 
foul,' to induce the besieged to surrender the place. 

Allusion has been made in a previous chapter to 
the wholesale deportation of the unfortunate people 
of Coorg. The Sultan in his memoirs gives the 
following account of his proceedings at Zafirabad, 
as he chose to call Merkara, the capital : 

' It is the custom with you for the eldest of five brothers 
to marry, and for the wife of such brother to be common to 


all five : hence there cannot be the slightest doubt of your 
all being bastards. This is about tlie seventh time that 
you have acted treacherously towards the Government, and 
plundered our armies. I have now vowed to the true God 
that if you ever again conduct yourselves traitorously or 
wickedly, I will not revile or molest a single individual 
among you, but making Ahmadis (Musalmans) of the whole 
of you, transplant you all from this country to some other ; 
by which means, from being illegitimate, your progeny or 
descendants may become legitimate, and the epithet of " sons 
of sinful mothers " may no longer belong to your tribe.' 

This expression of his ideas was not dictated by 
any tender feeling for women in general. A letter to 
Burhan-ud-din in 1786, in which he directs Burhan 
to cross the Tungabhadra from Anavatti, runs thus: 
' You must leave the women and other rubbish, 
together with the superfluous baggage of your army, 
behind.' In fact, the Sultan, though he left a dozen 
sons behind him, does not appear to have been, like 
his father, very susceptible to the charms of the fair 
sex. He deemed women of little account, with the 
sole exception of his mother whose influence over him 
was great. 

There is little to say about Tipu's revenue ad- 
ministration, which, owing to his frequent wars and 
his absence from his capital, naturally fell into the 
hands of his subordinates. Although the old system 
of collecting the Government dues which was in force 
in the time of the Hindu Rajas was still preserved, the 
want of proper supervision led to numerous exactions 
and consequent discontent, of which he remained in 


ignorance. Of regular judicial procedure there was 
little or no trace. Every amildar, or district officer, 
acted much as he pleased: to complain against op- 
pression was dangerous. In one department, however, 
the Sultan took a special interest, owing to the deep 
distrust which he entertained even against his prin- 
cipal officials, whose families were compelled to reside 
permanently at the capital In order to ascertain 
what went on in their households, the police were 
directed ' to place spies in the fort, in the town of 
Ganjam adjoining it, in the bazars, and over the 
doors of the great Mirs, so as to gain intelligence of 
every person who went to another's house and of 
what was said, thereby acquiring an accurate know- 
ledge of the true state of things, to be reported daily 
to the Presence.' It was at the same time forbidden 
that any one should go to the house o( another to 
converse l . 

Of Tipu's ferocious character there are unfortunately 
abundant proofs, some of which may be mentioned in 
addition to what has already been said on this sub- 
ject. As they are taken from his own correspondence 
there can be no doubt as to their authenticity. In 
one letter, written during the progress of the siege of 
Nargiind, he says : 

' In the event of your being obliged to assault the place, 

1 Latterly, the Sultan appears to have neglected the duties of 
his State, and to have allowed the control of affairs to remain in 
the hands of worthless inferiors, while he passed his time in 
prayer, reading the Koran, and counting the beads of his Tasbih 
or rosary. 


every living creature in it, whether man or woman, old or 
young, child, dog, cat, or anything else, must be put to the 
sword, with the single exception of Kala Pandit (the com- 
mandant) what more ? ' 

In another, addressed to an officer in Coorg, he 
remarks : 

' You are to make a general attack on the Coorgs, and, 
having put to the sword or made prisoners the whole of 
them, hoth the slain and the prisoners, with the women and 
children, are to be made MusalmansV 

Again, alluding to a rising at Siipa in Kanara, he 
writes to Badr-uz-zaman Khan : 

' Ten years ago, from ten to fifteen thousand men were 
hung upon the trees of that district ; since which time the 
aforesaid trees have been waiting for more men. You must 
therefore hang upon trees all such of the inhabitants of that 
district as have taken a lead in these rebellious proceedings.' 

In another letter, despatched to Arshad Be'g Khan 
at Calicut respecting certain highway robbers, he 
says : 

' Such of the authors of this rebellion and flagrant conduct 
as have been already killed, are killed. But why should the 
remainder of them, on being made prisoners, be put to 
death 1 Their proper punishment is this : Let the dogs, both 
black and white, be regularly despatched to Seringapatam V 

Again he writes regarding some of the Nizam's 

1 In the original Persian, ' Kasanikih kushtah shudand wa 
kasanikih asir shuwand, mah zan wa bachah, hamahhara musal- 
ni. 'in namayand.' 

2 This is significant of what imprisonment at Seringapatam fore- 
shadowed. The word ' white ' is supposed to apply to the Christian 
portion of these people. 


cavalry, of whom six had been taken prisoners at 
Kadapa : 

'Let the prisoners be strangled, and the horses, after 
being valued, be taken into Government service.' 

But enough has been said to show the character of 
a ruler, who urged on by religious bigotry, innate 
cruelty, and despotism, thought little of sacrificing 
thousands of lives to his ardent zeal and revengeful 
feelings. These darker shades in his disposition are 
not relieved by any evidence of princely generosity, 
such as Haidar Ali occasionally showed. Tipu would 
grumble at the expense of clothing his troops, or even 
at the number of wax-candles needed for ship-stores. 
He once rebuked an officer who complained of being 
supplied with old and black rice, by telling him not 
to engage in improper altercation. 

Whatever indignation may be excited by the 
Sultan's vindictive character, it is enhanced by the 
miserable state of the prisoners who fell into his 
hands. Haidar indeed put his captives in irons, 
fed them sparingly, and treated them badly, but he 
rarely took their lives deliberately. Tipu, on the 
other hand, had no compunction in cutting their 
throats, or strangling and poisoning them ; while, as 
has been stated, numbers of them were sent to die of 
malaria and starvation on the fatal mountain of 
Kabaldnig. The English prisoners were specially 
selected as victims of his vengeance, not omitting 
officers of rank such as General Matthews ; while, in 


direct contravention of the treaty made at Mangalore 
in 1784, he did not scruple to retain in captivity con- 
siderable numbers of Europeans. Many of these, 
particularly young and good-looking boys, were 
forcibly circumcised, married haphazard to girls who 
had been captured in the Coromandel districts, and 
drafted into the ranks of the army, or compelled to 
sing and dance for the .amusement of the sovereign. 

It must be admitted that the times were barbarous, 
and that the most atrocious punishments were fre- 
quently inflicted on malefactors. Even impaling 
was occasionally resorted to *, and it would be unjust 
to attribute to Tipii alone the commission of crimes 
which were characteristic of the period. It has been 
mentioned that those who conspired against him were 
put in a cage. This was an imitation of Haidar's 
treatment of Khande Rao. The unhappy victims 
were allowed half a pound of rice a day, with s^lt, but 
no water, so they soon expired under this frightful 
ordeal. There were other punishments nearly equally 
dreadful, such as making men bestride a wooden horse 
on a saddle studded with sharp spikes. On a spring 
being touched the horse of torture reared, and the spikes 
penetrated the unfortunate wretches. A more common 
mode of punishment was to bind tightly the hands 

1 The writer was shown at Bednur the Shiila Battery Hill, 
where one can still see the hole in the ground in which was 
inserted the stake (shula) for impaling victims, who were then 
hoisted and held up in terrorem as a warning to other criminals. 
This punishment was inflicted in the time of the Ikkeri Rajas, 
shortly before Haidar captured the town. 


and feet of condemned men, and then to attach them 
by a rope to the foot of an elephant, which, being 
urged forwards, dragged them after it on the rough 
ground, and painfully terminated their existence. 
Some again were ruthlessly thrown into the dens of 
tigers to be devoured, and it is said that three of 
Tipii's high officials met with this fate. Cutting off 
of ears and noses was a general practice, and was 
frequently inflicted on defaulters, thieves, and peccant 

The personal appearance of Tipu Sultan is fairly 
well known from the many portraits of him which 
have been produced at various times, but he is 
generally represented as being fairer than he really 
was. In all the best likenesses one cannot fail to 
note a certain amount of complacent self-sufficiency, 
which was in fact the mainspring of his singularly 
eccentric character. He had small delicate hands and 
feet, showing his Indian descent by the mother's side, 
an aquiline nose, large lustrous eyes, the neck rather 
short and thick, and the body somewhat inclined to 
corpulency. He wore no beard, but, unlike his father, 
retained his eyebrows, eyelashes, and moustache. He 
is described as having been so modest that no one 
ever saw any part of his person, save his feet, ancles, 
and wrists ; while in the bath he always covered him- 
self from head to foot. The same delicacy of feeling 
induced him to prohibit women from going about with 
their head and bosom uncovered l . 

1 This edict applied apparently to the western coast, where in 


Unlike Haidar Ali, he ordinarily affected extreme 
simplicity of dress as more becoming to an orthodox 
believer, and enjoined the observance of the same rule 
on all his followers, but when proceeding on journeys 
he wore a coat of cloth of gold with a red tiger-streak 
embroidered on it. He generally wrapped a white 
handkerchief over his turban and under his chin. 
The turban in the later years of his life was of a 
green colour. 

The popular error that Tipu is the Kanarese word 
for ' tiger ' seems to have arisen in this way. The 
synonym for a lion (his father's name) would be in 
India ' a tiger,' lions being unknown in Southern India, 
and in order probably to strike terror into the minds 
of his subjects he adopted this ferocious beast as the 
emblem of his rule. It used to be said, that he 
declared he would sooner live two days as a tiger 
than two hundred years as a sheep. The uniform of 
his soldiers was embellished with a tiger-stripe, the 
same device being shown on his guns and other 
paraphernalia. According to the statements of his 
English prisoners, several live tigers were kept in 
cages or chained up in front of his palace. 

On his weapons he had inscribed ' Asad Ullah al 
Ghalib/ that is ' the Lion of God (Ali, for whom he had 
a great reverence) is the conqueror.' The principal 

former times women of the lower castes were forbidden to cover 
the upper part of the body in the presence of their superiors. It is 
related that the Queen of Attangadi ordered the breasts of a woman 
who had offended against this usage to be cut off. 


ornament of his throne was a tiger's head of life-size, 
wrought in gold, which served as the support of the 
throne. The bas-reliefs of the throne, which was 
approached by silver steps, were decorated with 
tigers' heads worked in gold and adorned with 
precious stones. Over it was suspended a hiima, or 
bird of Paradise, whose brilliant wings, encrusted 
with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, hovered over the 
Sultan 1 . The huma formed the apex of a canopy, 
fringed with pearls, which was attached to a gilt pillar 
seven feet high. 

After the first siege of Seringapatam Tipii always 
slept on coarse canvas instead of on a bed, and at his 
repasts listened to some religious book which was read 
out to him. Unlike his father Haidar, he never in- 
dulged in ribald conversation, but he was fond of enun- 
ciating his views on every possible subject, whether 
religion, morals, science, war, commerce, or any other 
topic of discourse. The words of wisdom which fell 
from his lips were received by his obsequious courtiers 
with all due humility and respect. Among the crowd 

1 At Windsor Castle are preserved the royal footstool of Tipu 
and the richly-jewelled bird which adorned the canopy of the 
throne. Among other relics of the Sultan are portions of his 
tent with silver poles, ivory chairs, elephant and horse trappings, 
a palankeen, two richly - ornamented field-pieces, and various 
weapons, including the sword and shield which were found with 
his body after the siege. In the library of the castle is a copy of 
the Koran, formerly belonging to the Emperor Aurangzeb, which 
was found among Tipu Sultan's treasures. It is said to have cost 
9.000 rupees, and is beautifully written in the Naskh character, 
with elegant ornamentations. 


of officials who surrounded him very few succeeded 
in retaining his confidence, and only one Hindu, the 
Brahman Purnaiya, was admitted to his inner counsels. 
This undoubtedly able man remained with him to the 
end. So did his finance minister, Mir Muhammad 
Sadik, a name held in execration by the peasantry on 
account of his rapacity and extortions. Tipu's most 
trusted commander was Biirhan-ud-din, whose sister 
he had married, and to whom he confided the conduct 
of many military enterprises. Burhan was killed in 
1790 at Satyamangalam. A cousin, named Kamar- 
ud-din Ali Khan, the son of All Raza, whose sister 
Haidar Ali had married, was sometimes placed at the 
head of a body of troops. But he was generally 
accompanied by more experienced generals, and never 
entirely trusted, while both he and Burhan-ud-din 
were encompassed by the Sultan's spies. 

The distrust which he thus evinced towards his 
ablest servants, and especially during the latter part 
of his rule, seems to have been a radical defect in his 
character. It naturally led to his being taken in and 
deceived on all sides, his troops alone remaining 
faithful to him, notwithstanding the perpetual changes 
which he made in matters affecting their organization, 
discipline, and pay. From his youth upwards he was 
deficient in stability and straightforwardness, so much 
so as to excite the wrath of his father. Haidar, 
besides publicly flogging Tipii at Chinkurali as has 
been previously mentioned, exacted from him an 
agreement, in which the youth declared that, if he 



commit theft or fraud, or be proved guilty of prevari- 
cation, misrepresentation, or deceit, or if he should be 
detected in taking presents without orders, or carry- 
ing on secret intrigues, he consents to be strangled, 
or to undergo some other condign punishment. It 
is evident from the contents of this curious paper, 
which was discovered at Seringapatam after the siege 
in 1799, that Haidar was well aware of the unstable 
and fickle temperament of his son. It was also 
asserted by many who knew Tipu in later life that 
his understanding was at times clouded over in a 
way that betrayed symptoms of mental aberration 1 . 

So many instances have been given of the atrocities 
which he committed in the name of religion, that it 
would be superfluous to add to them. In this respect 
he rivalled Mahmud of Gha/ni, Nadir Shah, and 
Ala-ud-din the Pathan Emperor of Delhi surnamed 
the Khuni, or the Bloody, all of whom were famous 
for the number of infidels slaughtered by their orders. 
For this very zeal for the faith, notwithstanding the 
cruelties which attended his persecutions, the name 
of Tipu Sultan was long held in reverence by his 
co-religionists in Southern India a proof how readily 

1 Among the papers found in his library was a register of his 
dreams, some of which are not a little extraordinaiy. In one of 
these visions he saw a person dressed like a man, whom he caressed 
as if he were a woman, when the apparition suddenly threw off its 
garments, let down its hair, and exposed to view its bosom, which 
revealed a female form. Tipu deduced from this vision the fact 
that his enemies, the Marathas, though clothed like men, were 
really only women in character. 


crimes that cry to Heaven are condoned when the 
perpetrator of them is supposed to have been ani- 
mated by a sincere desire to propagate the faith 
which he professed. On his tomb at Seringapatam, 
it is recorded, in phrases which, as in the case of 
Haidar All, commemorate by the Abjad system the 
year of his death, that the ' Haidari Sultan ' died for 
the faith. The words are ' Niir Islam wa din z' dunya 
raft,' i. e. ' The light of Islam and the faith left the 
world ; ' ' Tipii ba wajah din Muhammad shahid shud,' 
i. e. ' Tipii on account of the faith of Muhammad was 
a martyr ; ' ' Shamshe'r glim shud,' i. e. ' The sword 
was lost ; ' ' Nasal Haidar shahid akbar shud/ i. e. 
' The offspring of Haidar was a great martyr,' all 
these phrases being supposed to represent the year 
1213 Hijri, corresponding with A.D. 1799. The 
inscription was composed by Mir Husse'n Ali, and 
was written by one Abd-ul-Kadir. 

During the perilous days Of the Mutiny, it is said 
that bigoted Musalmans congregated at this spot to 
say their prayers and breathe secret aspirations for 
the re-ascendancy of their faith. As one stands in 
the tomb, words faintly uttered resound in hollow 
reverberations in the lofty dome, and one cannot help 
feeling a momentary compassion for a Sovereign who, 
tyrant and usurper as he was, died a soldier's death. 

P 2 


ARCOT, Nawa"bs of, 21 : their his- 
tory, 21 : pedigree of, 22 : fort 
of, captured by Haidar, 93. 

AKNI, action near, 103. 

AURANGZEB, sends throne to My- 

BADAR-UZ-ZAMAN, defends Dha"r- 

war, 159. 
BAILLIE, Col., disastrous defeat 

of, at Perainba'kam, 91. 
BAIRD, Gen., leads the assault 

at Seringapatam, 198 : his 

humanity, 201. 
BALAJI Rio PESHWA, invades 

Mysore, 28. 
BANGALOEE, captured by Lord 

Cornwallis, 152-154. 
BARAMAHALS, ceded to Mara'thas, 

32 : invaded by Haidar, 89. 
BASALAT JANG, appoints Haidar 

Nawab of Sirk, 34 : cedes Gun- 

tur to Madras Government, 8 1 . 
BEDARS, join Haidar, 25 : capture 

Nijagal, 60 : defend Chitaldrug, 


BEDNUR, early history of, 35 : 
Sivappa N^yak of, 36 : cap- 
tured by Matthews, 120 : re- 
covered by Tipu, 122 : fate of 
garrison, 123. 

BELLARY, seized by Haidar, 68. 

vention of Warga'm, 81 : sends 

troops to Malabar, 103 : orders 
Gen. Matthews to seize Bednnr, 
1 20. 

CALICUT, seized by Haidar, 45. 

CHAMRAJ RAJA, death of, 68 : 
strange selection of his suc- 
cessor, 68. 

CHANDA SAHIB, aided by the 
French, 23. 

CHERKULI, action at, between 
Haidar and Marathas, 61. 

CHIKKA DEVARAJ, his territory, 


of, 47- 

CHIBAKKAL, Raja 1 of, killed by 
Tipu, 137. 

CHITALDRUG, former history of, 
72 : attacked by Haidar, 73 : 
captured by Haidar, 74. 

COIMBATORE, invaded by Haidar, 
56 : its defence by Chalmers, 

COOBG, Raja's of, 65 : invaded by 
Haidar, 66 : insurrection in, 
68 : Tipu's cruelty in the pro- 
vince of, 127: Raja of, joins 
British, 169. 

COOTE, Sir Eyre,assumes command 
in Madras, 93 : relieves Windi- 
wa'sh, 94 : action near Porto 
Novo, 95 : and at Pollilur, 
96 : encounters Haidar at Sho- 



lingarh, 97 : throws supplies 
into Vellore, 98 : encounters 
Haidar's troops near Ami, 103. 
COBNWALLIS, Lord, declares war 
on Tipu, and makes an alliance 
with the Niza'm and the Mar- 
thas, 145 : assumes command 
of the army, 151 : besieges and 
captures Bangalore, 152-154: 
attacks Seringapatam, 156 : 
compelled to retreat, 158 : cap- 
tures Nandidrug, 163 : assaults 
SaVandrtig, 165 : besieges Serin- 
gapatam, 1 68: makes a treaty 
with Tipu, 171 : his policy, 171. 

BELLA VALLE, Italian traveller, 

DHABWAB, captured by Haidar, 

70: besieged by Paras u K.a'm 

Bho, 159. 
DUPLEIX, his masterly policy, 23. 

FATAH MUHAMMAD, his descent, 
12: his success, 13: his death, 


FAZL-ULLAH KHAN, descends 
Gajalhatti Pass, 56. 

FBENCH, artificers in Haidar's ser- 
vice, 27 : gallant conduct under 
Lally, 99 : their influence over 
Haidar, 106 : their honourable 
conduct at Mangalore, 125: 
French Jacobins at Seringa- 
patam, 175. 

FULLABTON, Col., his expedition 
to Pa'lgha't, 128: his march 
stopped by the Madras Govern- 
ment, 129. 

GAJALHATTI PASS, descended by 
Haidar, 56 : descended by Tipu, 

GUTTI, surrendered to Haidar, 69. 

HAIDAB AL, his birth, 13 : serves 
as a volunteer, 18: want of 
education, 1 8 : seizes Nizam's 
treasure, 25 : joins Muhammad 
AH : employs Khande Rao, 
26 : Fujdar of Dindigal, 26 : 

encounters Gopa! Hari, 29 : re- 
ceives title from Mysore R;ij;i, 
30 : conspiracy against him, 31 : 
is defeated, 32 : appointed Dal- 
w *i> 33 ' overthrows Khande 
Ro, 33 : assumes the control 
of affairs, 33 : appointed NawaT) 
of Sira', 34 : captures Bedntir, 
38 : seizes Sund, 40 : defeated 
by the Mardths, 41 ; invades 
Malabar, 42 : imprisons Samdri, 
45 : suppresses Nalr insurrec- 
tion, 45 : attacked by Madhu 
Ro, 47 : attacks Col. Smith, 
49 : defeated near Trinomalai, 
50: captures Mangalore, 51: 
seizes Mulbagal, 53 : besieges 
Hosur, 55 : seizes Wood's guns, 
55 : enters Coimbatore, 56 : 
defeats Capt. Nixon, 56 : ready 
to make peace, but thwarted by 
Muhammad All, 57 : his raid 
on Madras, 57 : makes a treaty, 
58 : his defeat at Cherkuli, 61 : 
sues for peace, 62 : invades 
Coorg, 64 : intrigues with Ra- 
ghuba 1 , 67 : selects new Raja 1 , 68 : 
captures Bellary, 68 : seizes 
Giitti, 69 : defeats Marsha's at 
Sa'unsi, 70: attacks Chitaldrug, 
73 : defeats Hari Panth, 74 : 
captures Chitaldrtig, 74 : his 
severe rule, 78 : royal weddings, 
78 : his grievances against the 
English, 82 : his straightforward 
conduct, 83 : enters into corre- 
spondence with the French, 84 : 
his reception of the Rev. Mr. 
Schwartz and Mr. Gray, 85 : 
declares war on the English, 87 : 
invades Madras territory, 88 : 
defeats Col. Baillie, 90-92 : re- 
duces Arcot, 93 : encounters 
Coote near Porto Novo, 95 : 
fight at Pollidur, 96 : and near 
Sholingarh, 97 : his conversation 
with Purnaiya, ioi : encounters 
Coote near Arni, 103 : despatches 
Tipu to Malabar, 103 : his 
death, 104: his character and 
administration, 1 06- 1 1 3 . 



HABI PANTH, defeated by Haidar, 


HAEHIS, Gen., assumes command, 
190 : defeats Tipii at Malvalli, 
192: advances on Seringapatam, 
193 : prescribes terms of peace, 
196 : takes Seringapatam by 
assault, 198. 

HASTINGS, Warren, his action on 
hearing of Baillie's defeat, 93 : 
succeeds in detaching the Nizm 
and the Marathas from Haidar, 

KADAPA NAWAB, kills Nasir Jang, 
25 : his territory seized by 
Haidar, 77. 

KAMAR-UD-DIN, captures Coimba- 
tore, 164. 

KHANDE RAO enters Haidar's ser- 
vice, 26 : his treachery, 31 : his 
imprisonment, 34. 

KOLAR, birthplace of Haidar, 13. 

Mysore, 40 : defeats Haidar, 
41 : again invades Mysore, 47 : 
last invasion by, 59. 

to oppose Haidar, 52 : makes 
a treaty with him, 58 : its 
absurd confidence in Muham- 
mad AM, 58 : its preparations 
to oppose Haidar's invasion, 89 : 
apathy of, 119: arrests Fullar- 
ton's march on Malabar, 1 29 : 
deprecates the hostile prepara- 

' tions of Lord Mornington, 

MAH, captured by British troops, 

MALABAR, early history of, 42 : 

mentioned by Camoens, 42-43 : 

invaded by Haidar, 42 : cruelty 

of Tipti in, 136. 
MALVALLI, action at, 192. 
MANGALOEE seized by Haidar, 51 : 

besieged and captured by Tipu, 


MARATHAS invade Mysore, 28, 
40, 47, 59 : send an ambassador 
to Haidar, 80 : abandon Hai- 
dar's cause, 100. 

MAXWELL, Col., reconnoitres 
Krishnagiri, 148 : attacked by 
Tipu, 149. 

MEDOWS, Gen., his plan of cam- 
paign, 146 : fails to force Gajal- 
hatti Pass, 147. 

MELUKOTE, shrine of, plundered 
by Mara'tha's, 62. 

MORARI RAO, joins Col. Smith, 
52 : surrenders Giitti to Haidar, 

MORNINGTON, Lord, negotiates 
with the Niza'm and the Mar- 
ths, 180-182 : orders Madras 
Government to prepare for hos- 
tilities, 183: his statesman-like 
minute, 183: his correspondence 
with Tipu, 185 : declares war, 
189 : appoints Gen. Harris to 
command the British army, 
190: his judicious arrangements 
for disposing of Tip u's dominions, 

MUHAMMAD Ail, his evil influence 
with Madras Government, 57 : 
sends an agent to England, 82 : 
failure to aid the English, 88. 

MULBAGAL seized by Haidar, 53 : 
action at, 54. 

MDNRO, Sir H., his inaction at 
Conjevaram, 90 

MYSORE, ancient dynasties of, 13 : 
pedigree of Raja*, 16. 

NAN A FARNAvfs, opposes Ra- 
ghuba, 67. 

NANJRAJ, minister, gives a com- 
mand to Haidar, 18. 

NANJRAJ, Raja 1 , installed by Hai- 
dar, 47 : strangled, 63. 

NASIR JANG, seizes the throne, 
23 : killed by Kadapa Nawb, 

NEGAPATAM, stormed by Col. 

Braithwaite, 99. 
NIJAGAL, escalade of, 60. 


NIZAM, history of, 19 : pedigree of, 

NIZAM ALf, joins the Mariith^is, 
49 : deserts the English, and 
joins Haidar, 49 : his grievances 
against the English, 81 : deserts 
Haidar, 100 : invests Kopal, 
1 60 : his troops join Lord 
Cornwallis, 166 : disbands 
French contingent, 1 80 : sends 
troops to join Gen. Harris, 1 90. 

PANNIANI, action at, 104. 
JAKASU RAM BHAO, besieges Dhai- 

war, 159. 
PESHWAS, pedigree of, 30. 

RAGHUBA, intrigues with Haidar, 

RAJ WODIAK, seizes Seringapatam, 


SALABAT JANG, invades Mysore, 

SAMUEI OK ZAMORIN, early notice 
of, 42, 43 : submits to Haidar, 
45 : his death, 45. 

SAVANUK, Nawab of, his matri- 
monial alliances with Haidar, 
78 : town of, captured by Tipu, 

SCHWABTZ, his mission to Haidar, 

8 5 . 
SEBINGAPATAM, ancient history of, 

167: siege of, 168 : final siege 

of, 193-200: present aspect of, 

SHAHBAZ, brother of Haidar Ali, 

receives a command, 18. 
SHEKH AYAZ, surrenders Bednur 

to Matthews, 122. 
SIDDHESHWAR, action at, 191. 
SiflA, headquarters of Imperial 

deputy, 17 : Haidar appointed 

Nawb of, 34. 
SMITH, Col., defeats Haidar near 

Trinomalai, 50: acquires Krish- 

nagiri, 52 : failure to draw 

Haidar into a general action, 

55 : his recall, 55. 

SUBLIME PORTE, its letter to Tipd, 

SULLIVAN, Mr., his plan for an 

expedition to Malabar, 128. 

TIPU SULTAN, present at defeat of 
Baillie, 91 : and at siege of 
Arcot, 93 : defeats Col. Braith- 
waite, 99 : attacks Panni^ni, 
104: hisbirth,ii7: hisaccession, 
Il8: recaptures Bednur, 122: 
besieges Mangalore, 1 24 : his 
deportation of Malabar Chris- 
tians, 125: his edict on the 
subject, 126 : his cruelty in 
Coorg, 127: detects a conspiracy 
at Seringapatam, 129 : treats 
the Madras envoys with con- 
tempt, 1 30 : his cruelty to his 
prisoners, 130: attacks Nargdnd 
and Raindrug, 131 : assumes 
title of King, 132 : attacks and 
razes Adorn, 132 : seizes SaVa- 
niir, 133: his reforms in Mala- 
bar, 135: kills Rajd, of Chirakkal, 
1 37 : sends embassies to Europe, 
137 ; invades Travancore, 140 : 
his repulse and subsequent vic- 
tory, 141-143 : descends Gajal- 
ha'tti Pass, 147 : attacks Gen. 
Medows, 147: and Col. Maxwell, 
149 : escapes by Thopur Pass, 
149 : ravages the Coromandel, 
150: his troops defeated in Mala- 
bar, 151: tries to stop Lord Corn- 
wallis' advance on Bangalore, 
151 : his conduct at the siege, 
I 53'~ I 55 ' murders Europeans 
at Seringapatam, 155 : defends 
his capital, 156 : submits to 
Lord Cornwallis' terms, 171 : 
bombastic effusions, 172 : in- 
trigues with Ali Jdh, 174: and 
with Zarna'n Shall, 175 : sends 
an embassy to Mauritius, 177: 
his correspondence with Lord 
Mornington, 185: his evasive 
letter, 188 : attacks Bombay 
force at Siddheshwar, 191 : en- 
counters Gen. Harris at Mal- 
valli, 192 : prepares to defend 


Seringapatam, 193: sends an 
agent to Gen. Harris* camp, 
195 : refuses terms proffered, 
197: prepares to fight to the 
last, 197 : is wounded, and 
killed by an English soldier, 
1 99 : search for his body, 200 : 
his funeral, 200 : his character 
and administration, 208-227. 

TBAVANCORE, the lines of, 139: 
invaded by Tipti, 140-144. 

TRIMBAK RAO, defeats Haidar at 
Cherkuli, 61. 

VELLOEE, besieged by Haidar, 
97 ; garrison relieved by Coote, 

WANDIWASH, gallantly defended 
by Lieut. Flint, 89, 94. 

WELLESLET, Col., his repulse at 
Sulta'npet Tope, 194. 

WOOD, Col., joins Col. Smith, 50 : 
fights at Trinomalai : attacked 
byHaidaratMulbagal,54: loses 
all his guns, 55 : recalled, 56. 







Edited by SIB W. W. HUNTEB, K.C.S.I., C.I.E. . 

Price 28. 6d. each. 

The following volumes have been arranged for up to June, 1893 : 
I. AKBAR : and the Rise of the Mughal Empire, by COLONEL 
MALLESON, C.S.I., Author of A History of the Indian Mutiny; 
The History of Afghanistan ; Herat, &c. [Published.] Third 

II. ALBUQUERQUE: and the Early Portuguese Settlements in 
India, by H. MOKSE STEPHENS, Esq., M.A., Balliol College, 
Lecturer on Indian History at Cambridge, Author of The 
French Revolution; The Story of Portugal, fyc. [Published.] 

III. AURANGZfB : and the Decay of the Mughal Empire, by 

STANLEY LANE POOLE, Esq., B.A., Author of The Coins of 
the Mughal Emperors ; The Life of Stratford, Canning ; 
Catalogue of Indian Coins in the British Museum, Ac. 

IV. MADHAVA RAO SINDHIA : and tlve Hindu Reconquest of 

India, by H. G. KEENE, Esq., M.A., C.I.E., Author of The 
Moghul Empire, &c. [Published.] 

V. LORD CLIVE: and the Establishment of the English in India, 
by COLONEL MALLESON, C.S.I. [Published.] 

VI. DUPLEIX ': and the Struggle for India by the European 
Nations, by COLONEL MALLESON, C.S.I., Author of The 
History of the French in India, dec. [Published.] Third 

VII. WARREN HASTINGS: and the Founding of the British 
Administration, by CAPTAIN L. J. TKOTTEK, Author of India 
under Victoria, &c. [Published.] Third thousand. 
tion of British Rule, by W. S. SETON-KARR, Esq., sometime 
Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, Author of 
Selections from the Calcutta Gazettes, 3 vols. (1784-1805). 
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IX. HAIDAR A LI AND TIPUSAHEB: and the Struggle with 
the Muhammadan Powers of the South, by LEWIN BENTHAM 
BOWRING, Esq., C.S.I., sometime Private Secretary to the 
Viceroy (Lord Canning) and Chief Commissioner of Mysore. 
Author of Eastern Experiences. [Published.] 
X. THE MARQUESS WELLESLEY : and the Development of 
the Company into the Supreme Power in India, by the Rev. 
W. H. BUTTON, M.A., Fellow and Tutor of St. John's 
College, Oxford. [Published.] 

XL THE MARQUESS OF HASTINGS: and the Final Overthrow 
of the Mardthd Power, by MAJOR Ross OF BLADENSBUBG, 
C.B., Coldstream Guards; F.R.G.S. [Published.] 
South-Western India, by J. S. COTTON, Esq., M.A., formerly 
Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, Author of The Decennial 
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XIII. SIR THOMAS MUNRO : and the British Settlement of the 

Madras Presidency, by JOHN BRADSHAW, Esq., M.A., LL.D., 
H.M.'s Inspector of Schools, Madras. [In the Press.] 

XIV. EARL AMHERST : and the British Advance eastwards 

to Burma, chiefly from unpublished papers of the Amherst 
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Office, and Mrs. RICHMOND RITCHIE, nee THACKERAY, Author 
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XV. LORD WILLIAM BEN TIN CK: and the Company as a 
Governing and Non-trading Power, by DEMETRIUS BOULGER, 
Esq., Author of England and Russia in Central Asia ; The 
History of China, &c. [Published.] 

XVI. EARL OF AUCKLAND: and the First Afghan War, by 
CAPTAIN L. J. TROTTER, Author of India under Victoria, &c. 

XVII. VISCO UNTHARDINQ-E : and the Advance of the British 
Dominions into the Punjab, by his Son and Private Secretary, 
the Right Hon. VISCOUNT HARDINGE. [Published.] Third 

XVIII. RAN JIT SINGS: and the Silch Barrier between our Growing 
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Development of the Company's Rule, by SIR WILLIAM WILSON 
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BURNE, K.C.S.I., sometime Military Secretary to the Com- 
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[Published.] Third thousand. 

XXII. LORD LA WRENCE : and the Reconstruction of India under 
LL.D., formerly Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, 
and late Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab. [Published.] 
XXIII. THE EARL OF MAYO: and the Consolidation of the 
Queen's Rule in India, by SIR WILLIAM WILSON HUNTER, 
K.C.S.I., M.A., LL.D. [Published.] Third thousand. 



Edition ; 78th thousand. Price 3*. 6d. [Published.] 
JAMES THOMASON : and the British Settlement of North- 
Western India, by SIR RICHARD TEMPLE, Bart., M.P., formerly 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, and Governor of Bombay. 
Price 3. 6d. [Published.] 

HDpinion0 of tfte 



' An interesting and exceedingly readable volume Sir William 

Hunter has produced a valuable work about an important epoch in 
English history in India, and he has given us a pleasing insight into 
the character of a remarkable Englishman. The " Rulers of India " 
series, which he has initiated, thus makes a successful beginning in his 
hands with one who ranks among the greatest of the great names which 
will be associated with the subject.' The Times. 

' To no one is the credit for the improved condition of public intelli- 
gence [regarding India] more due than to Sir William Hunter. From 
the beginning of his career as an Indian Civilian he has devoted a rare 
literary faculty to the task of enlightening his countrymen on the subject 
of England's greatest dependency. . . . By inspiring a small army of 
fellow-labourers with his own spirit, by inducing them to conform to his 
own method, and shaping a huge agglomeration of facts into a lucid and 
intelligible system, Sir W. Hunter has brought India and its innumer- 
able interests within the pale of achievable knowledge, and has given 
definite shape to the truths which its history establishes and the 
problems which it suggests. . . . Such contributions to literature are apt to 
be taken as a matter of course, because their highest merit is to conceal 
the labour, and skill, and knowledge involved in their production ; but 
they raise the whole level of public intelligence, and generate an 
atmosphere in which the baleful influences of folly, ignorance, prejudice, 
and presumption dwindle and disappear.' Saturday Review. 

' Admirably calculated to impart in a concise and agreeableform a clear 
general outline of the history of our great Indian Empire.' Economist. 

' A skilful and most attractive picture. . . . The author has made good 
use of public and private documents, and has enjoyed the privilege of 
being aided by the deceased statesman's family. His little work is, 
consequently, a valuable contribution to modern history/ Academy. 

' The book should command a wide circle of readers, not only for its 
author's sake and that of its subject, but partly at least on account of 
the very attractive way in which it has been published at the moderate 
price of half-a-crown. But it is, of course, by its intrinsic merits alone 
that a work of this nature should be judged. And those merits are 
everywhere conspicuous. ... A writer whose thorough mastery of all 
Indian subjects has been acquired by years of practical experience and 
patient research.' The Atheruzum. 

' Never have we been so much impressed by the great literary abilities 
of Sir William Hunter as we have been by the perusal of "The Marquess 
of Dalhousie." . . . The knowledge displayed by the writer of the motives 
of Lord Dalhousie's action, of the inner working of his mind, is so com- 
plete, that Lord Dalhousie himself, were he living, could not state them 
more clearly. . . . Sir William Hunter's style is so clear, his language 
so vivid, and yet so simple, conveying the impressions he wishes so per- 
spicuously that they cannot but be understood, that the work must have 
a place in every library, in every home, we might say indeed every 
cottage.' 'Evening News. 

' Sir William Hunter has written an admirable little volume on 
" The Marquess of Dalhousie " for his series of the " Rulers of India." 
It can be read at a sitting, yet its references expressed or implied 
suggest the study and observation of half a life-time.' The Daily News. 

of tfce 



' Sir William W. Hunter has contributed a brief but admirable 
biography of the Earl of Mayo to the series entitled " Rulers of India," 
edited by himself (Oxford, at the Clarendon Press).' The Times. 

1 In telling this story in the monograph before us, Sir William 
Hunter has combined his well-known literary skill with an earnest 
sympathy and fulness of knowledge which are worthy of all commenda- 
tion. . . . The world is indebted to the author for a fit and attractive 
record of what was eminently a noble life.' The Academy. 

' The sketch of The Man is full of interest, drawn as it is with com- 
plete sympathy, understanding, and appreciation. But more valuable 
is the account of his administration. No one can show so well and 
clearly as Sir William Hunter does what the policy of Lord Mayo con- 
tributed to the making of the Indian Empire of to-day.' The Scotsman. 

' Sir William Hunter has given us a monograph in which there is a 
happy combination of the essay and the biography. We are presented 
with the main features of Lord Mayo's administration unencumbered 
with tedious details which would interest none but the most official of 
Anglo-Indians ; while in the biography the man is brought before us, 
not analytically, but in a life-like portrait.' Vanity Fair. 

' The story of his life Sir W. W. Hunter tells in well-chosen language 
clear, succinct, and manly. Sir W. W. Hunter is in sympathy with 
his subject, and does full justice to Mayo's strong, genuine nature. 
Without exaggeration and in a direct, unaffected style, as befits his 
theme, he brings the man and his work vividly before us.' The 
Glasgow Herald. 

' All the knowledge acquired by personal association, familiarity with 
administrative details of the Indian Government, and a strong grasp of 
the vast problems to be dealt with, is utilised in this presentation of 
Lord Mayo's personality and career. Sir W. Hunter, however, never 
overloads his pages, and the outlines of the sketch are clear and firm.' 
The Manchester Express. 

' This is another of the " Rulers of India " series, and it will be hard 
to beat. . . . Sir William Hunter's perception and expression are here at 
their very best.' The Pall Mall Gazette. 

'The latest addition to the "Rulers of India" series yields to none of 
its predecessors in attractiveness, vigour, and artistic portraiture. . . . 
The final chapter must either be copied verbally and literally which 
the space at our disposal will not permit or be left to the sorrowful 
perusal of the reader. The man is not to be envied who can read it with 
dry eyes.' Allen's Indian Mail. 

' The little volume which has just been brought out is a study of Lord 
Mayo's career by one who knew all about it and was in full sympathy 
with it. ... Some of these chapters are full of spirit and fire. The 
closing passages, the picture of the Viceroy's assassination, cannot fail 
to make any reader hold his breath. We know what is going to 
happen, but we are thrilled as if we did not know it, and were still 
held in suspense. The event itself was so terribly tragic that any 
oi'dinary description might seem feeble and laggard. But in this 
volume we are made to feel as we must have felt if we had been on 
the spot and seen the murderer " fastened like a tiger " on the back of 
the Viceroy.' Daily Netox, Leading Article. 

Dpmions of t&e 



"This new volume of the "Kulers of India" series keeps up to the 
high standard set by the author of " The Marquess of Dalhousie." For 
dealing with the salient passages in Lord Cornwallis's Indian career no 
one could have been better qualified than the whilom foreign secretary 
to Lord Lawrence.' The Athenceum. 

' Lord Cornwallis has been very properly included in the list of those 
"Rulers of India" whose biographies are calculated to illustrate the 
past growth and present development of the English administration in 
that country. His name is connected with several great measures, 
which more, perhaps, than any others have given a special colour to our 
rule, have influenced the course of subsequent legislation, and have made 
the Civil Service what it at present is. He completed the administrative 
fabric of which Warren Hastings, in the midst of unexampled difficulties 
and vicissitudes, had laid the foundation.' The Saturday Review. 

' We hope that the volumes on the " Rulers of India " which are 
being published by the Clarendon Press are carefully read by a large 
section of the public. There is a dense wall of ignorance still standing 
between the average Englishman and the greatest dependency of the 
Crown ; although we can scarcely hope to see it broken down altogether, 
some of these admirable biographies cannot fail to lower it a little. . . . 
Mr. Seton-Karr has succeeded in the task, and he has not only pre- 
sented a large mass of information, but he has brought it together in an 
attractive form. . . . We strongly recommend the book to all who wish 
to enlarge the area of their knowledge with reference to India.' New 
York Herald. 

' The " Rulers of India " series. This outcome of the Clarendon 
Press grows in value as it proceeds. The account of Cornwallis is from 
the pen of Mr. W. Seton-Karr, who was formerly Foreign Secretary to 
the Government of India, and whose acquaintance with Eastern affairs 
has been of obvious service to him in the compilation of this useful 
manual.' The Globe. 

' One might almost say that the history of our great Indian Empire 
might be read with comparative ease in the excellent " Rulers of India 
Series," published at the Clarendon Press at Oxford. ... Of Cornwallis 
it might be said he transformed the East India Company's servants 
from merchants to administrators, and determined to place them above 
jobbery, which he despised.' The Independent. 

1 We have already expressed our sense of the value and timeliness of 
the series of Indian historical retrospects now issuing, under the editor- 
ship of Sir W. W. Hunter, from the Clarendon Press. It is somewhat 
less than fair to say of Mr. Seton-Karr's monograph upon Cornwallis 
that it reaches the high standard of literary workmanship which that 
series has maintained. . . . Hia accurate and lucid summary of the necessi- 
ties which dictated Cornwallis's policy, and the methods by which he 
initiated and, to a great extent, effected, the transformation of our rule 
in India from the lines of an Oriental despotism to those with which we 
are now familiar, is as attractive as it is instructive.' The Literary 

Opinions of t&e 


' In the character of Dupleix there was the element of greatness 
that contact with India seems to have generated in so many European 
minds, French as well as English, and a broad capacity for govern- 
ment, which, if suffered to have full play, might have ended in giving 
the whole of Southern India to France. Even as it was, Colonel 
Malleson shows how narrowly the prize slipped from French grasp. 
In 1783 the Treaty of Versailles arrived just in time to save the 
British power from extinction.' Times. 

' One of the best of Sir W. Hunter's interesting and valuable series. 
Colonel Malleson writes out of the fulness of familiarity, moving with 
ease over a field which he had long ago surveyed in every nook and 
corner. To do a small book as well as this on Dupleix has been done, 
will be recognised by competent judges as no small achievement. 
When one considers the bulk of the material out of which the little 
volume has been distilled, one can still better appreciate the labour 
and dexterity involved in the performance." Academy. 

' A most compact and effective history of the French in India in a 
little handbook of 180 pages.' Nonconformist. 

'Well arranged, lucid and eminently readable, an excellent addition 
to a most useful series.' Record. 


' Colonel Malleson's interesting monograph on Akbar in the "Rulers 
of India" (Clarendon Press) should more than satisfy the general 
reader. Colonel Malleson traces the origin and foundation of the 
Mughal Empire ; and, as an introduction to the history of Muhamma- 
dan India, the book leaves nothing to be desired.' St. James's Gazette. 

' This volume will, no doubt, be welcomed, even by experts in 
Indian history, in the light of a new, clear, and terse rendering of an 
old, but not worn-out theme. It is a worthy and valuable addition 
to Sir W. Hunter's promising series.' Athenceum. 

' Colonel Malleson has broken ground new to the general reader. 
The story of Akbar is briefly but clearly told, with an account of what 
he was and what he did, and how he found and how he left India. . . . 
The native chronicles of the reign are many, and from them it is still 
possible, as Colonel Malleson has shown, to construct a living portrait 
of this great and mighty potentate.' Scots Observer. 

' The brilliant historian of the Indian Mutiny has been assigned in 
this volume of the series an important epoch and a strong personality 
for critical study, and he has admirably fulfilled his task. . . . Alike in 
dress and style, this volume is a fit companion for its predecessor.' 
Manchester Guardian. 

of t&e 


' The publication, recently noticed in this place, of the " Letters, 
Despatches, and other State Papers preserved in the Foreign Depart- 
ment of the Government of India, 1772-1785," has thrown entirely new 
light from the most authentic sources on the whole history of Warren 
Hastings and his government of India. Captain L. J. Trotter's 
WARREN HASTINGS, a volume of the " Rulers of India " series, edited 
by Sir W. Hunter (Oxford, at the Clarendon Press), is accordingly 
neither inopportune nor devoid of an adequate raison d'etre. " The 
present volume," says a brief preface, " endeavours to exhibit for the 
first time the actual work of that great Governor-General, as reviewed 
from the firm stand-point of the original records now made available to 
the students of Indian history." Captain Trotter is well known as a 
competent and attractive writer on Indian history, and this is not the 
first time that Warren Hastings has supplied him with a theme.' 
The Times. 

' He has put his best work into this memoir . . . Captain Trotter's 
memoir is more valuable [than Sir A. Lyall's] from a strictly historical 
point of view. It contains more of the history of the period, and it 
embraces the very latest information that casts light on Hastings' re- 
markable career . . . His work too is of distinct literary merit, and ia 
worthy of a theme than which British history presents none nobler. 
It is a distinct gain to the British race to be enabled, as it now may, 
to count the great Governor-General among those heroes for whom 
it need not blush.' Scotsman. 

' Captain Trotter has done his work well, and his volume deserves 
to stand with that on Dalhousie by Sir William Hunter. Higher 
praise it would be hard to give it." New York Herald. 

' This is an able book, written with candour and discrimination.' 
Leeds Mercury. 

' Captain Trotter has done full justice to the fascinating story of the 
splendid achievements of a great Englishman.' Manchester Guardian. 

' This neat little volume contains a brief but admirable biography of 
the first Governor-General of India. The author has been fortunate in 
having had access to State papers which cover the period of the 
entire rule of Warren Hastings.' The Newcastle Chronicle. 

' In preparing this sketch for " The Rulers of India," Captain 
Trotter has had the advantage of consulting the " Letters, Despatches, 
and other State Papers preserved in the Foreign Department of the 
Government of India, 1772-85," a period which covers the entire 
administration of Warren Hastings. The present volume, therefore, 
may truly claim that it " exhibits for the first time the actual work of 
the great Governor-General, as reviewed from the firm stand-point of 
original records." It is a book which all must peruse who desire to 
be " up to date " on the subject.' The Globe. 

Opinions of tje 



' The life of such, a man should be interesting to all those who have en- 
tered, however remotely, into the inheritance of his labours: andMr.Keene 
is well qualified, both by his knowledge of Indian history and his literary 
dexterity in its treatment, to do justice to his subject.' The Times. 

' Mr. Keene has the enormous advantage, not enjoyed by every 
producer of a book, of knowing intimately the topic he has taken up. 
He has compressed into these 203 pages an immense amount of informa- 
tion, drawn from the best sources, and presented with much neatness and 
effect . . . Such a life was worth tracing in connection with the general 
history of the times ; and that is the task which Mr. Keene has so well 
fulfilled in this concise, yet attractive, little volume.' The Globe. 

' In this brief monograph Mr. Keene goes over the ground already tra- 
versed by him in his " Fall of the Moghul Empire." But the particular 
work which gives Sindhia his place in Indian history ... is here made 
more clearly manifest,while the book deals almost as much in general his- 
tory as in biography . . It is valuable as bringing out the originality as well 
as the greatness of the unacknowledged ruler of Hindustan . . . The book 
is interesting . .. and forms a valuable addition to the series.' Scotsman. 

1 Mr. Keene tells the story with knowledge and impartiality, and also 
with sufficient graphic power to make it thoroughly readable. The 
recognition of Sindhia in the "Rulers" series is just and graceful, 
and it cannot fail to give satisfaction to the educated classes of our 
Indian fellow-subjects.' North British Daily Mail. 

' This is probably the most romantic volume in the whole series, and 
the Sindhia's difference in attitude towards De Boigne and Warren 
Hastings is very interestingly stated. The history of the foundation of 
our Indian Empire receives much elucidation from this admirable 
volume.' Liverpool Mercury. 

f Mr. H.G. Keene, C.I.E., M.A., has added a very acceptable volume to 
the popular half-crown series of works on former potentates in England's 
vast Indian dependency . . . From the signal defeat of the Marathas at 
Panipat, in 1761, in which engagement Sindhia, after fighting valiantly, 
very nearly lost his life, until his death in 1 794, his varying fortunes are 
traced. The important affairs in which he figured so prominently, as also 
the intrigues and machinations that were directed against him, are re- 
corded, whilst the desirable effect of his policy in assuaging the fierce 
passions and civilising the habits of the people is depicted. The volume 
bears incontestable proofs of the expenditure of considerable research 
by the author, and sustains the reputation he had already acquired 
by his "Sketch of the History of Hindustan." ' Freeman's Journal. 

' Among the eighteen rulers of India included in the scheme of Sir 
William Hunter only five are natives of India, and of these the great 
Madhoji Sindhia is, with the exception of Akbar, the most illustrious. 
Mr. H. G. Keene, a well-known and skilful writer on Indian questions, 
is fortunate in his subject, for the career of the greatest bearer of the 
historic name of Sindhia covered the exciting period from the capture 
of Delhi, the Imperial capital, by the Persian Nadir Shah, to the occu- 
pation of the same city by Lord Lake. . . . Mr. Keene gives a lucid 
description of his subsequent policy, especially towards the English 
when he was brought face to face with Warren Hastings. The conclu- 
sion of his hostility to us was the real beginning of his own political 
career in India.' The Daily Graphic. 

Opinions of tfte 



' In " Clyde and Strathnairn," a contribution to Sir William Hunter's 
excellent "Rulers of India" series (Oxford, afc the Clarendon Press), 
Sir Owen Burne gives a lucid sketch of the military history of the 
Indian Mutiny and its suppression by the two great soldiers who give 
their names to his book. The space is limited for so large a theme, but 
Sir Owen Burne skilfully adjusts his treatment to his limits, and rarely 
violates the conditions of proportion imposed upon him.' . . . 'Sir Owen 
Burne does not confine himself exclusively to the military narrative. 
He gives a brief sketch of the rise and progress of the Mutiny, and 
devotes a chapter to the Reconstruction which followed its suppression.' 
. . . ' well written, well proportioned, and eminently worthy of the 
series to which it belongs.' The Times. 

'Sir Owen Burne who, by association, experience, and relations with 
one of these generals, is well qualified for the task, writes with know- 
ledge, perspicuity, and fairness.' Saturday Review. 

' As a brief record of a momentous epoch in India this little book is 
a remarkable piece of clear, concise, and interesting writing.' The 
Colonies and India. 

' Sir Owen Burne has written this book carefully, brightly, and 
with excellent judgment, and we in India cannot read such a book 
without feeling that he has powerfully aided the accomplished editor 
of the series in a truly patriotic enterprise.' Bombay Gazette. 

'The volume on "Clyde and Strathnairn" has just appeared and 
proves to be a really valuable addition to the series. Considering its 
size and the extent of ground it covers it is one of the best books about 
the Indian Mutiny of which we know.' Englishman. 

' Sir Owen Burne, who has written the latest volume for Sir William 
Hunter's "Rulers of India" series, is better qualified than any living 
person to narrate, from a military standpoint, the story of the suppres- 
sion of the Indian Mutiny." Daily Telegraph,. 

'Sir Owen Burne's book on "Clyde and Strathnairn" is worthy to 
rank with the best in the admirable series to which it belongs.' 
Manchester Examiner. 

' The book is admirably written ; and there is probably no better 
sketch, equally brief, of the stirring events with which it deals.' 

' Sir Owen Burne, from the part he played in the Indian Mutiny, and 
from his long connexion with the Government of India, and from the 
fact that he was military secretary of Lord Strathnairn both in India 
and in Ireland, is well qualified for the task which he has undertaken.' 
The Athenaeum. 

Opinions; of t&e 


' An exception to the rule that biographies ought not to be entrusted 
to near relatives. Lord Hardinge, a scholar and an artist, has given 
us an accurate record of his father's long and distinguished services. 
There is no filial exaggeration. The author has dealt with some con- 
troversial matters with skill, and has managed to combine truth with 
tact and regard for the feelings of others.' The Saturday Review. 

'This interesting life reveals the first Lord Hardinge as a brave, 
just, able man, the very soul of honour, admired and trusted equally 
by friends and political opponents. The biographer . . . has produced a 
most engaging volume, which is enriched by many private and official 
documents that have not before seen the light.' The Anti-Jacobin. 

' Lord Hardinge has accomplished a grateful, no doubt, but, from 
the abundance of material and delicacy of certain matters, a very 
difficult task in a workmanlike manner, marked by restraint and 
lucidity.' The Pall Mall Gazette. 

' His son and biographer has done his work with a true appreciation 
of proportion, and has added substantially to our knowledge of the 
Sutlej Campaign.' Vanity Fair. 

' The present Lord Hardinge is in some respects exceptionally well 
qualified to tell the tale of the eventful four years of his father's 
Governor-Generalship.' The Times. 

' It contains a full account of everything of importance in Lord 
Hardinge's military and political career ; it is arranged ... so as to 
bring into special prominence his government of India ; and it gives a 
lifelike and striking picture of the man.' Academy. 

' The style is clear, the treatment dispassionate, and the total result 
a manual which does credit to the interesting series in which it figures.' 
The Globe. 

' The concise and vivid account which the son has given of his 
father's career will interest many readers.' The Morning Post. 

' Eminently readable for everybody. The history is given succinctly, 
and the unpublished letters quoted are of real value.' The Colonies 
and India. 

' Compiled from public documents, family papers, and letters, this 
brief biography gives the reader a clear idea of what Hardinge was, 
both as a soldier and as an administrator.' The Manchester Examiner. 

' An admirable sketch.' The New York Herald. 

' The Memoir is well and concisely written, and is accompanied by 
an excellent likeness after the portrait by Sir Francis Grant.' The 

Dpimons of t&e i>re0s 



' The life of Earl Canning, the Viceroy of the Indian Mutiny, affords 
an excellent subject for a biographer who knows his business, and 
therefore we need hardly say that " Earl Canning," by Sir H. S. 
Cunningham, K.C.I.E., is an admirable contribution to the series of 
the "Rulers of India" edited by Sir W. W. Hunter (Oxford, at the 
Clarendon Press). Sir Henry Cunningham's rare literary skill and his 
knowledge of Indian life and affairs are not now displayed for the first 
time, and he has enjoyed exceptional advantages in dealing with his 
present subject. Lord Granville, Canning's contemporary at school 
and colleague in public life and one of his oldest friends, furnished his 
biographer with notes of his recollections of the early life of his friend. 
Sir Henry Cunningham has also been allowed access to the Diary of 
Canning's private secretary, to the Journal of his military secretary, 
and to an interesting correspondence between the Governor-General 
and his great lieutenant, Lord Lawrence. Of these exceptional ad- 
vantages he has made excellent use, and the result is a biography 
second in interest to none in the series to which it belongs.' The Times. 

' Sir Henry Cunningham's " Earl Canning " is a model monograph. 
The writer knows India, as well as Indian history, well ; and his story 
has a vividness which none but an Anglo-Indian could so well have 
imparted to it. It has also the advantage of being founded to a large 
extent on hitherto unused material.' The Globe. 

'Sir H. S. Cunningham has succeeded in writing the history of a 
critical period in so fair and dispassionate a manner as to make it 
almost a matter of astonishment that the motives which he has so 
clearly grasped should ever have been misinterpreted, and the results 
which he indicates so grossly misjudged. Nor is the excellence of his 
work less conspicuous from the literary than from the political and 
historical point of view. The style is clear and vivid, the language 
well chosen and vigorous, the disposition of details and accessories 
striking and artistic, and, indeed, under whatever aspect the work be 
considered, it reaches the high standard of workmanship which, from 
the outset, has been a distinguishing feature of the series.' Glasgow 

' Sir H. S. Cunningham was fortunate, in a literary sense, in the 
particular Viceroy and period of Indian history allotted to his pen in 
the important and valuable series of biographical volumes on "Rulers 
of India," being published at the Clarendon Press, Oxford, under the 
editorship of Sir William Wilson Hunter. In Earl Canning, first 
Viceroy of India, Sir H. S. Cunningham had a subject sufficiently 
inspiring to all who admire honour, courage, patience, wisdom, all the 
virtues and qualities which go to the building up of the character of an 
ideal English gentleman ; while the episode of the Mutiny, culminating 
in the fall of Lucknow, lends itself to the more picturesque and 
graphic description. Sir H. S. Cunningham has treated his subject ade- 
quately. In vivid language he paints his word-pictures, and with calm 
judicial analysis he also proves himself an able critic of the actualities, 
causes, and results of the outbreak, also a temperate, just appreciator 
of the character and policy of Earl Canning.' The Court Journal. 

Dpinions of t&e 



'The " Rulers of India" series has received a valuable addition in 
the biography of the late Lord William Bentinck. The subject of this 
interesting memoir was a soldier as well as a statesman. He was 
mainly instrumental in bringing about the adoption of the overland 
route and in convincing the people of India that a main factor in Eng- 
lish policy was a disinterested desire for their welfare. Lord. William's 
despatches and minutes, several of which are textually reproduced in 
Mr. Boulger's praiseworthy little book, display considerable literary 
skill and are one and all State papers of signal worth.' Daily Tele- 

' Mr. Boulger is no novice in dealing with Oriental history and 
Oriental affairs, and in the career of Lord William Bentinck he has 
found a theme very much to his taste, which he treats with adequate 
knowledge and literary skill.' The Times. 

' His frontier policy was conciliatory, but full of foresight. His minute 
on the subject of Afghanistan and the advance of Russia in Asia may 
be read with advantage to-day, nearly sixty years after it was written. 
Similarly, his observations on the armies of India have lost by no means 
all of their force, and Mr. Boulger has done a public service in printing 
the document.' Daily News. 

' How all this was effected has been clearly and forcibly set forth by 
Mr. Boulger. Though concisely written, his memoir omits nothing 
really essential to a thorough understanding and just appreciation of 
Bentinck 's work, and of the results which flowed from it, even after he 
had ceased to be at the head of Indian affairs. Mr. Boulger's estimate 
of the statesman is eminently fair and dispassionate, based on a 
thorough knowledge of his administration in all its details. Altogether 
the little work is a valuable addition to a most useful series.' Glasgow 

' Mr. Boulger writes clearly and well, and his volume finds an ac- 
cepted place in the very useful and informing series which Sir William 
Wilson Hunter is editing so ably.' Independent. 

' Lord William Bentinck occupies a distinct place among Indian 
Governors- General. His rule may be regarded as the commencement of 
an epoch. Mr. Boulger has not to tell a stirring story of war and conquest, 
but the record of Lord William Bentinck's domestic reforms, by which he 
began the regeneration of India, is as deeply interesting and certainly 
as well worth studying as any chapter of preceding Indian history. 
Mr. Boulger has produced an excellent brief history of the period, and 
a capital life of the Governor-General. The volume is one of the series 
of " Rulers of India," and none of them is better worthy of perusal.' 
The Scotsman. 

1 Mr. Boulger, it should be added, has done his work with care and 
judgment.' Globe. 

Opinions of tje 



' Sir Lepel Griffin treats his topic with thorough mastery, and his 
account of the famous Maharaj^ and his times is, consequently, one of 
the most valuable as well as interesting volumes of the series of which 
it forms a part.' The Globe. 

' We can thoroughly praise Sir Lepel Griffin's work as an accurate 
and appreciative account of the beginnings and growth of the Sikh 
religion and of the temporal power founded upon it by a strong and 
remorseless chieftain.' The Times. 

1 One of the best books recently published on any Indian question.' 
The Manchester Guardian. 

' The reading public has here the essence of all that is worth know- 
ing about the period.' The Glasgow Evening News. 

' From first to last it is a model of what such a work should be, and 
a classic. The book is one of the most interesting historical sketches 
ever given to the public, and illustrated throughout by a unique 
acquaintance with the subject, and exquisite point.' The St. Stephen's 

' Sir Lepel has done justice to one of the most interesting and pic- 
turesque episodes of Indian history. In every respect, but perhaps 
most of all from the point of view of the general reader who does not 
wholly subordinate enjoyment to instruction, the volume is a most 
acceptable addition to the series.' The Glasgow Herald.. 

' The monograph could not have been entrusted to more capable 
hands than those of Sir Lepel Griffin, who spent his official life in the 
Punjaub, and is an expert in all the knowledge appertaining to a 
thorough acquaintance, practical and bookish, with that province. This 
is an excellent sketch of Ranjit Singh, his people, and his short-lived 
kingdom.' The Scotsman. 

' At once the shortest and best history of the rise and fall of the 
Sikh monarchy." The North British Daily Mail. 

' An excellent piece of work candid, discriminating, and well- 
balanced.' The Yorkshire Post. 

1 Not only a biography of the Napoleon of the East, but a luminous 
picture of his country ; the chapter on Sikh Theocracy being a notable 
example of compact thought. For grasp of subject, careful treatment, 
and charm of narration, this volume is second to none in the series. It 
may fairly be said to " speak volumes," and possesses an exceptional 
value as being by our chief authority on Punjab matters.' The Liver- 
pool Mercury. 

' The career of no Indian ruler since the Moghul Aurungzebe and 
the Mahratta Sivaji presents a finer subject for the historian ; and it 
would be difficult to find a writer better qualified than Sir Lepel Griffin 
to deal with such a subject.' The St. James's Gazette. 

'A truly masterly account of Ban jit Singh and the short-lived Sikh 
monarchy of Lahore.' The World. 

' The sketch is in every respect a masterly one, and proves its author 
to be capable of producing something on a larger scale that would be 
unsurpassed among histories of our great dependency.' The Literary 

Opinions of tbe 



' Sir William Hunter, the editor of the series to which this book 
belongs, was happily inspired when he entrusted the Life of Elphin- 
stone, one of the most scholarly of Indian rulers, to Mr. Cotton, who, 
himself a scholar of merit and repute, is brought by the nature of his 
daily avocations into close and constant relations with scholars. . . . We 
live in an age in which none but specialists can afford to give more time 
to the memoirs of even the most distinguished Anglo-Indians than will 
be occupied by reading Mr. Cotton's two hundred pages. He has per- 
formed his task with great skill and good sense. This is just the kind 
of Life of himself which the wise, kindly, high-souled man, who is the 
subject of it, would read with pleasure in the Elysian Fields.' Sir M. 
E. Grant Duff, in The Academy. 

' To so inspiring a theme few writers are better qualified to do ample 
justice than the author of "The Decennial Statement of the Moral and 
Material Progress and Condition of India." Sir T. Colebrooke's larger 
biography of Elphinstone appeals mainly to Indian specialists, but 
Mr. Cotton's slighter sketch is admirably adapted to satisfy the growing 
demand for a knowledge of Indian history and of the personalities of 
Anglo-Indian statesmen which Sir William Hunter has done so much 
to create.' The Times. 

' This is the story of a brilliant life, brilliantly told. Mr. Cotton has 
a crisp style, a wide knowledge of Indian history, and a strong sympathy 
for his hero.' The Pall Mall Gazette. 

' Mr. Cotton's " Life of Mountstuart Elphinstone" is one of the most 
readable of the valuable volumes that have appeared in the series of 
" Rulers of India." Mr. Cotton has avoided tediousness by the con- 
densation of matter, and has secured the interest and close attention of 
his reader by a bright and nimble style which carries him along with 
quite exhilarating rapidity, yet without skipping the really salient 
features of the period.' The Scotsman. 

Mr. Cotton has evidently performed a congenial task in writing 
this excellent little biography, for he has produced a volume so pleasant 
to read that it can scarcely be the result of labour against the grain. 
He has given us an account of the public career of a man who, though 
he declined the post of Governor-General, well deserves to rank among 
the ablest " Rulers of India," and of those literary pursuits which occu- 
pied Elphinstone's spare time during his period of office, and bore good 
and abiding fruit both in his despatches and his historical work.' The 
Journal of Education. 

' The author has evidently taken great pains to make the book what 
a monograph of the kind ought to be; and those who are familiar with 
Anglo- Indian history during the early part of the current century will 
appreciate the praise we offer when we say that he has succeeded in 
making it worthy of its subject.' The World. 

' A masterpiece of skilful and sympathetic workmanship. . . . Such 
a life could scarcely be told without exciting interest : told as it is 
by Mr. Cotton, it combines all the qualities of that oft-abused word 
fascination.' The Queen. 

Opinions of t&e 



' Mr. Stephens' able and instructive monograph . . . We may commend 
Mr. Morse Stephens' volume, both as an adequate summary of an 
important period in the history of the relations between Asia and 
Europe, and as a suggestive treatment of the problem of why Portugal 
failed and England succeeded in founding an Indian Empire.' The 

1 Mr. H. Morse Stephens has made a very readable book out of the 
foundation of the Portuguese power in India. According to the 
practice of the series to which it belongs it is called a life of Affonso de 
Albuquerque, but the Governor is only the central and most important 
figure in a brief history of the Portuguese in the East down to the time 
when the Dutch and English intruded on their preserves ... A plea- 
santly-written and trustworthy book on an interesting man and time.' 
The Saturday Review. 

' Mr. Morse Stephens' Albuquerque is a solid piece of work, well put 
together, and full of interest.' The Athenceum. 

' Mr. Morse Stephens' studies in Indian and Portuguese history have 
thoroughly well qualified him for approaching the subject . . . He has 
presented the facts of Albuquerque's career, and sketched the events 
marking the rule of his predecessor Almeida, and of his immediate 
successors in the Governorship and Viceroyalty of India in a compact, 
lucid, and deeply interesting form.' The Scotsman. 


'No man knows the policy, principles, and character of John 
Lawrence better than Sir Charles Aitchison. The salient features 
and vital principles of his work as a ruler, first in the Punjab, and 
afterwards as Viceroy, are set forth with remarkable clearness.' 

' A most admirable sketch of the great work done by Sir John 
Lawrence, who not only ruled India, but saved it.' Manchester 

' Sir Charles Aitchison's narrative is uniformly marked by directness, 
order, clearness, and grasp ; it throws additional light into certain 
nooks of Indian affairs ; and it leaves upon the mind a very vivid 
and complete impression of Lord Lawrence's vigorous, resourceful, 
discerning, and valiant personality.' Newcastle Daily Chronicle. 

' Sir Charles knows the Punjab thoroughly, and has made this little 
book all the more interesting by his account of the Punjab under J ohn 
Lawrence and his subordinates.' Yorkshire Post. 

pinions of t&e 



' Major Ross of Bladensburg treats his subject skilfully and attrac- 
tively, and his biography of Lord Hastings worthily sustains the high 
reputation of the Series in which it appears.' The Times. 

' This monograph is entitled to rank with the best of the Series, the 
compiler having dealt capably and even brilliantly with his materials.' 
English Mail. 

Instinct with interest.' Glasgow Evening News. 

' As readable as it is instructive.' Globe. 

' A truly admirable monograph.' Glasgow Herald. 

' Major Ross has done his work admirably, and bids fair to be one of 
the best writers the Army of our day has given to the country. ... A 
most acceptable and entrancing little volume.' Daily Chronicle. 

'It is a volume that merits the highest praise. Major Ross of 
Bladensburg has represented Lord Hastings and his work in India 
in the right light, faithfully described the country as it was, and in 
a masterly manner makes one realize how important was the period 
covered by this volume.' Manchester Courier. 

' This excellent monograph ought not to be overlooked by any one 
who would fully learn the history of British rule in India.' Manchester 


'There is no period in Eastern history so full of sensation as the 
reign of Aurangzfb. . . . Mr. Lane-Poole tells this story admirably ; 
indeed, it were difficult to imagine it better told.' National Observer. 

' Mr. Lane-Poole writes learnedly, lucidly, and vigorously. . . . He 
draws an extremely vivid picture of Aurangzib, his strange ascetic 
character, his intrepid courage, his remorseless overthrow of his 
kinsmen, his brilliant court, and his disastrous policy ; and he describes 
the gradual decline of the Mogul power from Akbar to Aurangzib 
with genuine historical insight.' Times. 

' A well-knit and capable sketch of one of the most remarkable, 
perhaps the most interesting, of the Mogul Emperors.' Saturday Review. 

' As a study of the man himself, Mr. Lane-Poole's work is marked 
by a vigour and originality of thought which give it a very exceptional 
value among works on the subject.' Glasgow Herald. 

' The most popular and most picturesque account that has yet 
appeared ... a picture of much clearness and force.' Globe. 

'A. notable sketch, at once scholarly and interesting.' English Mail. 

' No one is better qualified than Mr. Stanley Lane-Poole to take up 
the history and to depict the character of the last of the great Mogul 
monarchs. . . . Aurangzib 'a career is ever a fascinating study.' 
Home News. 

' The author gives a description of the famous city of Shh Jahn, 
its palaces, and the ceremonies and pageants of which they were the 
scene. . . . Mr. Lane-Poole's well- written monograph presents all the most 
distinctive features of Aurangzib's character and career.' Morning Post. 

Dpimons of tfje 



'A vivid account of the causes, conduct, and consequences of "the 
costly, fruitless, and unrighteous" Afghan War of 1838.' St. James's 

'To write such a monograph was a thankless task, but it has been 
accomplished with entire success by Captain L. J. Trotter. He has 
dealt calmly and clearly with Lord Auckland's policy, domestic and 
military, with its financial results, and with the general tendency of 
Lord Auckland's rule.' Yorkshire Post. 

' To this distressing story (of the First Afghan War) Captain Trotter 
devotes the major portion of his pages. He tells it well and forcibly ; 
but is drawn, perhaps unavoidably, into the discussion of many topics 
of controversy which, to some readers, may seem to be hardly as yet 
finally decided. ... It is only fair to add that two chapters are devoted 
to " Lord Auckland's Domestic Policy," and to his relations with 
"The Native States of India".' The Times. 

' Captain Trotter's Earl of Auckland is a most interesting book, and 
its excellence as a condensed, yet luminous, history of the first Afghan 
War deserves warm recognition.' Scotsman. 

' It points a moral which our Indian Rulers cannot afford to forget 
so long as they still have Russia and Afghanistan to count with.' 
Glasgow Herald. 

Supplementary Volume : price 3. 6d. 


' Sir R. Temple's book possesses a high value as a dutiful and 
interesting memorial of a man of lofty ideals, whose exploits were 
none the less memorable because achieved exclusively in the field 
of peaceful administration.' Times. 

' It is the peculiar distinction of this work that it interests a reader 
less in the official than in the man himself.' Scotsman. 

' This is a most interesting book : to those who know India, and 
knew the man, it is of unparalleled interest, but no one who has 
the Imperial instinct which has taught the English to rule subject 
races "for their own welfare" can fail to be struck by the simple 
greatness of this character.' Pall Mall Gazette. 

' Mr. Thomason was a great Indian statesman. He systematised 
the revenue system of the North- West Provinces, and improved every 
branch of the administration. He was remarkable, like many great 
Indians, for the earnestness of his religious faith, and Sir Richard 
Temple brings this out in an admirable manner.' British Weekly. 

' The book is " a portrait drawn by the hand of aifection," of one 
whose life was " a pattern of how a Christian man ought to live." 
Special prominence is given to the religious aspects of Mr. Thomason's 
character, and the result is a very readable biographical sketch.' - 


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